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February 4, 2013

How Does a CIO Think in a Las Vegas Show?

Posted by Sanjay Dalwani (View Profile | View All Posts) at 4:47 AM


Oliver Bussmann, CIO, SAP at Consumer Electronics Show 2012 in Las Vegas  [Source:  http://www.sap-tv.com/video/#/7602 ]
OK, I know what you're thinking: Who cares what an important technology executive thinks of Cirque Du Soleil or the Blue Man Group? So let me clarify what I mean by the term "Las Vegas show." I'm referring to the Consumer Electronics Show. 

We're lucky to have Oliver Bussmann, the chief Information Officer of SAP, as a very prescient guide. I recently watched a great clip of Bussmann taking viewers across the floor of the Consumer Electronics Show, which is always one of the hottest tickets in Las Vegas. SAP is a company with which we at Infosys have worked closely for years. So it's fun to see one of our partners in innovation tell the world what he thinks are the most promising trends to watch in 2013.

At the top of his list is the Internet of Things. I must admit I'm now hooked on this term, which essentially refers to the advancement of machine-to-machine connectivity. Because sensors are becoming fairly inexpensive, Bussmann says, consumers are finding that they're able to connect and measure the activity of a certain thing through their mobile devices. 

He stopped off at the ADT booth and demonstrated how the home security firm has developed an app to help its customers monitor just about everything they want within their houses when they're far from home. Security cameras, lighting, thermostat, window and door locks, and, of course, the home alarm system, are all easily monitored and controlled on a mobile device. (Macaulay Culkin's character in the "Home Alone" movies wouldn't have had the chance to do much of anything if his parents were armed with this latest offering from ADT.) "The Internet of Things is quite real," Bussmann says.

He also predicts that the consumerization of all things IT will continue to expand. There are more choices for enterprise users and it's his job as a CIO to enable those devices. Meaning in the matter of a few days. The Bring Your Own Device trend will also gain momentum in the coming year, Bussmann says; so much so that the topic of mobile content management will become a hot topic: It will be more important than ever to secure confidential business information on a person's mobile device.

Then there's the information stored on your mobile device that's meant to be shared with your social network. Like trying on a new suit in the Virtual Fitting Room - something we know about from our work with leading retailer clients. You can see what different outfits look like and even email the images to your friends so they can chime in. The fitting room is a fun way to apply another big trend highlighted at the 2013 show: Business to Consumer Engagement. 

Bussmann chats with one of his colleagues about how companies and brands are using technology to connect with the end consumer. SAP, for example, has a sports app that helps chief marketing officers see what their fans are chatting about. The app gives the kind of information a sports fan would want (game schedule, league rankings, etc.) but also includes a social feed that lets them rant and rave about an amazing play or a controversial trade.

Indeed, consumer mobile apps are helping enterprises get closer to their customers. And those customers have more choices than ever before. Pretty soon we'll all be connected to not only everybody, but everything as well - our cars, our houses, the local library, and even your favorite coffee shop. 

The conversion of all things mobile and social is certainly what one of the hottest shows in Las Vegas is all about.

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