The changing face of the information age

And how it affects the CIO's remit

Tags: Gartner Inc. ( Arab Emirates
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The changing face of the information age The CIO faces a rapidly shifting digital landscape.
By  Tom Paye Published  April 7, 2014

With new technology trends including cloud, mobility and big data analytics impacting the way in which the world operates, we are beginning to enter the second half of the information age, according to Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst John Mahoney.

Much like the world-changing eras of technology that preceded it - such as the age of steam - the first half of the information age was characterised by the development of the technology, Mahoney said at last week's Gartner Symposium in Dubai. The second half of any great technology age, however, while still witnessing development, becomes more about the wider effects that the developments have on the world, he explained.

"So with steam trains, first it was about making steam mobile, and creating engines that don't blow up in your face and so on. In the second half of the era, you got mass tourism, you had the growth of huge mega-cities, you had the shift in employment, and commuting," Mahoney told

"The same is absolutely true of the information age. It started in the 1950s with the adoption of large-scale computing by a few corporations based on what had been done in the Second World War. The intervening 60 years have been about making stuff that's smaller and faster.

"And it's not that the technology will stop developing but now we're in a position where it's about what you do with it - the way that it effects our communities," he added.

SEE ALSO: MENA banking and securities firms to spend $12.8bn on IT

The CIO's remit

In terms of what this means for IT leaders, Mahoney said that it has become the CIO's remit to not only run the technology aspect of the business more cheaply and efficiently, but also to advise senior management on how upcoming trends could eventually impact the business.

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