“Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this son of York;
And all the clouds that low’r’d upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.”
— Richard The Third Act 1, scene 1, 1–4
In the above Richard, the future king, opens this Shakespeare play not by protesting his discontent, but by celebrating an upturn in his family’s fortunes. His brother Edward IV — they’re sons of the Duke of York — has wrested the English crown from Henry VI and the Lancastrian house. So those who simply quote “Now is the winter of our discontent” are doing these lines a disservice, since the “now” actually modifies “made glorious” (i.e. “The winter is now made glorious summer”). More — Source: endnotes.com
Inspired by an article Marcelo De Santis Global CIO of Mondelez shared earlier: ‘Why the rise of CDO role represents a power grab’ by Dan Woods on Forbes.com, excerpt below I penned the following post.
“The rise of the CDO is being driven by many different forces, but one that is rarely acknowledged is class struggle. The classes are not the proletariat or the bourgeoisie, but rather the tech incumbents, the CIOs and CTOs of the world, versus marketing and PR professionals.” Read More by Dan Woods on Forbes.com
Now is the winter of our discontent (or is it…)
Marcelo already knows my personal opinion and suggested path to resolution on this very real challenge facing global IS / GBS organisations and CTO, CIO roles within large organisations right now.
It’s not a power struggle more a mid-life crisis on all sides of the table facing into the new world order brought about by the rapid pace of distributed digital enablement by SaaS/PaaS solutions penetrating like a positive virus across global organisations at present.
The IS / GBS organisations that face into this challenge, reinvent their value proposition, become agile versus waterfall, earn versus expect the right to participate in the new digitally led world order and leverage the fact that they have a massive head start versus the competition, given their unique position typically having touch points across every aspect of the business globally.
IS / GBS organisations are the nervous system or connective tissue which in one way or another touches everything across a global organisation. The challenge today and why I refer to it as a ‘mid-life crisis’ versus ‘power struggle’ is in what seems overnight, the rug has been (or will be) pulled out from under global GBS / IS organisations leading to them sitting on the outside of discussions, decisions and resulting activations related to this new digitally driven world.
Gone are the days when sticks like compliance, cost management, policy and fixed organisational hierarchy are sufficient glue to keep IS / GBS in the game. It’s a new day, a new dawn in which these organisations need to rapidly change and reinvent themselves or face the very real risk of getting left behind or worse moving slowly towards extinction.
But let’s not despair, for those who now take stock, recognise the situation, rally the troops and reinvent themselves as a more agile agency like entity versus clinging on to the lingering perception of IS / GBS organisations being slow moving bureaucratic civil servant type organisations, the future will be very bright indeed.
I’m lucky enough to have a bird’s eye view into how challenges like these are impacting many organisations given my involvement in both enterprise and start-ups. At Mondelez for example, we face these challenges just like everyone else, however the difference to allot of other organisations is that it’s already recognised as a challenge (opportunity) at the highest level within the organisation and people are actively working to address it.
They do this in the knowledge that getting it right should contribute along with many other measures currently being activated across the organisation to a real and sustained competitive advantage well into the future.
Header Image: ‘Lonely kid in the wilderness’ by Frédéric de Villamil
Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.
Also by Niall O’Gorman