Enterprise CIO’s Are Betting on Innovation!

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One of the habits I try to maintain has been to make the pilgrimage to Chicago every fall for the CIO Perspectives Event. Put together by IDG for senior-level IT Leaders, it’s always been one of my favorite conferences for getting a “finger on the pulse” of what is keeping some of the best and brightest CIOs' attention these days.

This year was no different with a lot of great discussions that were had.

One that especially grabbed my attention was during a conversation about IT innovation and where it is occurring. A comment came during a panel discussion that a recent survey of Enterprise CIOs found that 54% of them plan to invest in emerging technologies over the coming year. Having been in the Enterprise IT Leadership side of the house, I found this very notable and it did lead to some fun conversations during the day about why. A few takeaways:

  • While the big-technology companies are not going anywhere soon from a CIO Portfolio standpoint, there was a distinct feeling that there is little (or no) real disruptive innovation taking place at that level. As such they are becoming the “safe, foundational” choice upon which IT leadership is looking to occasionally build something just a bit riskier on top of in an effort to step ahead of the competition.
  • Smaller, highly innovative, companies with a “Start-Up” mentality have shifted from being “too uncertain” for an Enterprise CIO to place a bet on to “where the future is being built”. As a result, size (of the Emerging Technology Company) and long-term track record don’t mean as much as Talent and Product Pipeline. Innovations in Mobility as one example.
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  • There is still some nervousness about vaporware though, so having something that actually works in the field continues to be the bar that any Emerging Tech venture has to hit.  Learn about the latest in Manufacturing Innovations and Microsoft Cloud Innovations.

All in all though, when I look at where Appolis is these days in building our App-based Warehouse Management Systems, I get more excited to be part of a Team that is leading in this space. Historically Disruptive Innovation tends to be a bottom-up process, with smaller organizations typically being the ones to decide to take a chance on an innovation that saves time/money/effort while the larger Enterprise becomes the target for disruption. Seeing so many Technology Leaders at the Enterprise Level taking the proactive stance of not letting that happen to them is an encouraging sign and one that will definitely lead Appolis to further innovations in the Supply Chain and Warehouse Management (WMS) Space.

By Michael Kohlman, VP of Operations


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