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New chairman sees special role for Corporate IT Forum

Warwick Ashford

Business IT user group the Corporate IT Forum will aim to better prepare IT professionals for the changes in the industry, says new chairman John Harris.

Fundamental change is coming to what has been called corporate IT, says Harris, vice-president of commercial application services, IT at GlaxoSmithKline.

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According to Harris, the innovation embedded in consumer technology is one of the disruptive drivers that, alongside commoditisation and new sourcing and procurement models, is wreaking "creative destruction" in the world of enterprise IT.

"IT is maturing, and IT professionals will finally get the chance to be what we have always wanted to be - business people who understand technology well. If you can see the wave of change coming, you can give customers what they need," he said.

Harris predicts a lower demand for intervention than in the past.

"As the basic technology gets easier, some of the fire-fighting can go. It will be more about understanding and managing services well. It will be just IT, and businesses make use of it in certain ways to grow," he said.

As this change takes place, John Harris sees a special role for the Corporate IT Forum.

"The forum has a role to play in getting IT professionals ready; in helping us through the development," he said.

The forum's value, Harris said, lies in the sharing of expertise and experience and, through that, focusing on what is important and what is not.

"I see the forum as the voice of business IT, just as the CBI is the voice of business," he said.

While other research services can give a formal analyst-type answer or guidance, there is no substitute to talking to a peer in another company who has real experience in engaging with and facing the same challenges you face, said Harris.


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