Gartner: CIOs should prepare for 'second' Internet

CIOs should keep abreast of a coming second Internet revolution where technologies such as blogging and podcasting could alter business models, analysts say.

During the next year, chief information officers (CIO) should pay acute attention to how technologies such as blogging and podcasting will affect their businesses and be ready for innovation with those technologies by their competitors, Gartner analysts said Thursday.

Those innovations are driving a second Internet revolution, a time when businesses can't afford to be content that they are simply online, said Mark Raskino, a research fellow at Gartner. Podcasting and blogging are affecting businesses both internally and externally, he said.

"I think the point of the second Internet revolution is it will catch people out," Raskino said. "The reason why it will catch people out is complacency and arrogance to some extent."

The recommendation to pay attention topped Gartner's annual list of resolutions for CIOs in the coming year.

Around 2000, there were big changes in the way businesses used the Internet, he said. By 2003, businesses felt they had a handle on the Internet and that they had mastered it. But there are a new wave of technologies along with ones that are maturing that have the potential to cause further disruptions affecting competitiveness, Raskino said.

The innovation is also happening in reverse, as more technologies are delivered to end users and consumers first and businesses second, Raskino said. "Many of these things though are not very high priced because they were developed for consumer markets," he said.

Businesses will need to educate themselves before they see the technologies in a competitor's product, said John Mahoney, chief of research for IT management, at Gartner.

"That's typically the way these markets work," Mahoney said. "Somebody creates a new product that often puts together things that already existed. They just kind of connect a few things and suddenly, click, they're in a whole new aspect, a whole new environment."

CIOs are increasingly being asked what their vision is as far as doing business online, Raskino said. Boards of directors are reading about the technologies and are going to be asking how those will affect competitiveness as IT strategies from three or four years ago expire, he said.

The CIO needs to be the "measured voice of reason," Mahoney said. While not resurrecting the term "e-business," CIOs will have to look for how technologies fit together, he said.

While Gartner said cost, control, security and concepts remain baseline guidance, the 10 recommendations are divided into three strategic themes. This is the list:

Choose 2006 tactics towards a 2008 strategy

1. Educate your business about the second Internet revolution before someone else does.

2. Set some "do not migrate" orders in advance.

3. Target 2008 for major innovation delivery.

Insist on agility in the heart of the organization

4. Get yourself and your team ready for your next jobs.

5. Start a significant "software as a service" implementation as a trial and education.

6. Organize your merger and acquisition capability.

Push beyond 2005 comfort zones in value, focus and technology

7. Revisit capitalization with your chief financial officer.

8. Build your brand and your team.

9. Refresh your meetings with the chief executive officer.

10. Check out some 2006 "hot" technologies.

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