Tech Trend Predictions from the Churchill Club’s 21st Annual Meeting

Churchill's Top Ten 2019By Jeff Richards
Managing Partner

Each year the Churchill Club, a not-for-profit public benefit organization, holds a “Top 10 Tech Trends” meeting. A panel of five venture capital partners each present two predictions regarding the top tech trends that will be affecting the market four or five years from now. Each VC presents their first prediction and the other VCs vote on it. Then the moderator turns it over to the audience members, who use an app to register their votes. After each panel member has presented their first idea, the moderator goes down the line and repeats the process for their second idea.

I’ve been attending this event for 13 years now. I’ve found that the meeting is both thought-provoking and entertaining, and a great way to get executives thinking out of the box beyond their annual planning horizon. Plus, it usually gives me lots of interesting things to talk about at client meetings, cocktail parties and networking events!

This year was the 21st annual edition of this event, and there were probably 600 to 700 people in attendance. CIO Professional Services bought a table. Everyone in our group of nine really enjoyed the event, which spurred some very stimulating conversation.

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Reflections on 10 Years in Business: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

10th Anniversary CIOPSBy Jeff Richards
Managing Partner

This year CIO Professional Services (CIOPS) is celebrating our tenth anniversary. Looking back over the past decade makes me realize that, in spite of all of the changes that have happened in the IT world, at a more fundamental level nothing has really changed at all.

Our focus hasn’t changed

CIOPS’ first client was the Northern California Golf Association, a division of the US Golf Association that was established in 1901 (i.e. when my great-grandparents were too young to take up the sport). Our work for the Northern California Golf Association was a process redesign, systems selection and systems implementation engagement.

Today our biggest client is a hyper-growth unicorn 6-year-old “startup.” They’re about as cool and new as it gets. What are the initiatives? Process redesign, systems selection and systems implementation!

Before our current client received a major cash infusion in early 2018, they were a cash-strapped start-up running everything on “freemium” and inexpensive applications. Everyone found something that would solve their particular problem, at least in the short run, with little thought as to what else was going on around it. Now they are replacing this hodge-podge of apps that got them this far with more sophisticated solutions that will meet their needs as they grow. In other words, pretty much what we did for the Golf Association, but on a much broader scale.

Read more: Reflections on 10 Years in Business: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

Lack of Measurement Can Result in Failure

You must measure to succeedBy Mike Pivacek

Organizations often bring in CIOPS to “fix things” when they feel that something in their IT realm is broken. Perhaps they just can’t seem to deliver. Maybe they’re making promises they can’t keep, or service is woefully lacking. People are counting on the team to get things done, and it’s just not happening. Deadlines are missed…bugs aren’t fixed…issues aren’t addressed…and if the end products are delivered at all, they might not be meeting quality standards.

Quite often these problems all have one thing in common

Our first step in fixing whatever is broken is always an assessment. If, for example, the organization is experiencing delivery challenges, we’ll want to delve into the current delivery process. What are they trying to accomplish, and where are they falling short?

Although service and delivery challenges are generally quite complex and caused by a combination of factors, each of the underlying causes usually falls into one of the following categories:

  • People problems
  • Process problems
  • Technology problems

Regardless of whether a problem is caused by people, processes or technology, we often find that these issues all have one thing in common: They are not being measured, and this lack of measurement is a root cause of many undeliverables.

Read more: Lack of Measurement Can Result in Failure

CIO Professional Services LLC is a top-rated IT consulting firm, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, specializing in strategic IT consulting and business / IT alignment. Companies come to us seeking assistance with their information technology strategy as well as to source interim CIO / CTO employees or fractional CIO / CTO's. Our IT experts can assist with integrating IT into your business processes - better - up to and including 'project rescue' in areas such as ITSM / ITIL, IT service strategy, and IT outsourcing. Business / IT strategy projects we have worked on include upgrading ERP systems, cybersecurity and IT consulting, IT assessment and organizational change. Cloud computing and business IT remain critical in today's business systems, and beyond that to the migration to the cloud of business IT. Our IT consultants can assist with all aspects of business / information technology alignment. Contact us today for a free phone consultation - we service clients not only in San Francisco or San Jose, but throughout the United States.

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