CIO Weekly Update January 28 2022

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This week had several newsworthy items of interest to the CIO. Here is a brief summary of five that stood out along with a brief commentary. In addition, I address a rising topic among CIOs.

In the News

Intel invests at least $20 billion into Ohio chip-making facility

CIO Take: The facility will break ground in 2022 but won’t come online until 2025. The pandemic continues to show how fragile global supply chains can be. As technology plays an increasingly critical role, industries from automotive to consumer goods already impacted by their own supply chain challenges are further stymied by the semiconductor supply chain. Increasing chip manufacturing domestically gives Intel greater control over their own production to hopefully reduce the impact of future disruptions.

IBM sells Watson Health to investment firm

CIO Take: Healthcare is (still) one of biggest opportunities for disruption and technology sits at the core. IBM spent many years along with several acquisitions to improve the state of healthcare. In the end, they couldn’t make it work. Massive opportunities still exist with many startups continuing to nibble at the edges. We should also watch moves by Kyndryl, IBM’s software spinoff, to potentially fill some of these voids. 

CIOs take on more business strategy in 2022 (survey)

CIO Take: CIOs continue to increase their criticality and involvement in revenue generation activities. In 2022, 65% of leaders will add some involvement to their objectives. While this trend started well before the pandemic, the pandemic accelerated the shift. Look for CIOs to increase their involvement even further over time.

AT&T announces 2Gbps & 5Gbps fiber options

CIO Take: AT&T is leading the charge of major high-speed Internet providers to bring faster connectivity to the home. Between gaming, smart homes and remote work, the demands on home networks has never been higher. Most homes will suffice with 1Gbps or lower. As applications increase their reliance on bandwidth, the need for faster connectivity is coming sooner than later. It is good to see AT&T reaching higher with 2Gbps and 5Gbps options.

Zoom adds virtual event interaction with Expo for Zoom Events

CIO Take: The pandemic highlighted the need for an alternative to in-person events. While several online solutions existed before the pandemic, they were less than ideal alternatives. With the rise in Zoom’s popularity, creating an event solution using a solution already installed on practically every computer provides low friction to adoption. The addition of Expo to the Zoom Events solution brings a virtual expo floor experience to the existing solution.

Food for Thought

There are several impending questions facing the CIO today. None of them are particularly straightforward nor easy to address. Yet the impact is potentially huge.

One topic is around the clash of big tech and the FTC.

Question: Is the CIO facing potential collateral damage from the impending big tech and FTC clash?

While big tech companies like Facebook may have less to do with enterprise IT, companies like Apple, Microsoft and Google do have a direct impact. Some could argue that it is out of the average IT organization’s hands. However, there are steps that organizations could take to limit potential collateral damage.

Some of the questions being asked…

  1. What is the likelihood of breaking up the company?
  2. How might the company be broken apart?
  3. What is the impact to the enterprise IT org and services?
  4. How would one function in a post-broken world?

For larger organizations they should ask how they can leverage their scale to influence potential changes within companies and the government?

There is a lot to unpack and consider. My take is that it is inevitable that we will see breakups happen. The objective would be to have it driven from an informed perspective. Yet, there is little understanding of the impact nor potential collateral damage of those elected to drive the breakup. And that is the rub.

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