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Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015: Watch out, IT, because your colleagues are after your job

Amid technology upheaval in almost every industry, there is one trend that appears clear: IT departments are fighting more external and internal competition than ever before, and colleagues that are IT’s customers today could end up coming after their budget and jobs tomorrow.

That’s one of the takeaways from the 2015 Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, which brought together technology leaders from around the world to share what they’re seeing in the field.

And as Tom Kaneshige reported for Five2ndWindow, the stakes couldn’t get much higher for digital leadership.

Too often, Gartner analyst Mary Mesaglio said, CIOs focus on data and analysis rather than intuition and leadership. That’s lead to them being kept out of key discussions in the C-suite (Gartner reported that only one in four CIOs is considered an ally in the boardroom), even as other departments start eying some of IT’s traditional responsibilities.

One example is Hans Keil, who was named CIO of PerkinElmer last July. His background? Business line leader, with a major focus on customer service, marketing, and product management.

“IT wasn’t supporting where the business needed to go; there was friction,” Keil told Kaneshige. “That’s why I was advanced to CIO.” And once he was there, his first focus wasn’t studying up on the technology stack. Instead, he wanted to help the rest of the IT team disrupt their own thinking with a Silicon Valley road trip, meeting up with cloud storage provider Box, venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, and other groups that, less than a decade ago, IT would have done its best to keep firewalled from end users.

But times are changing and the competition is fiercer than ever, even within a businesses own walls. “CIOs aren’t the ones to lead this charge, line-of-business people are,” Keil told Kaneshige.

For IT leaders hoping for a bright career, the gauntlet has been thrown.

Follow Tom Kaneshige on Twitter and Five2ndWindow on Facebook for more updates from Gartner’s Symposium/ITXPO 2015, going on now in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

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