Dear CEO — Have you thought of Future of Work and IT’s new new role in it?

While CEOs are sending their executives to events filled with non-sensical laughter, wine and plastic award ceremonies, I was tempted to add this to the story where the world is changing rapidly and how some industries might face extinction. So consider this an open letter to the CEOs. CEOs of Telcos, consumer products and even firms that sell milk, chocolates, leather goods, transportation, steel, basics, life sciences, pharma — well practically everything!

CIOs who are prioritizing are key associates to CEOs/CFOs

Like when we had organized our second buyer private forum in Zurich, one of the CIO told me that only one person was allowed to go from the company and since that person had to do reposting back to the CFO and/or CIO, in her case CFO, she preferred to be there herself to truly understand what her peers were doing and adapting to the emergence of clouds. She also told me that she was tired of visiting those CxO events where speakers from Davos or high-profile economists came but in the end it was a waste of time.

This was a CIO of a firm managing €200 Bn worth assets!

That got me thinking… Me and my co-author Mr. Yara [of “Smart Metering the Clouds”, a research vision paper which you can get from the IEEE website] have had several discussions in the past and we continue to share many mega-game-changing visions once in a while on what is really the future of the “providers” of these services and what happens to the “buyers” when this mega-shift is upon us. He also wrote an article on my blog on the “Rise of Clouds” which I recommend you to read.

Advent of Clouds and industries to be affected directly by it

A. Post Sector

We are clearly seeing that the traditional brink-n-mortar approach is dying. Let’s not deny it, it is really dying! Post industry is one perfect example. Look at the dutch TNT post or belgian Bpost or any other postal firm, they want to embrace the social web but the whole ecosystem is changing. The question if the brick and mortar approach can continue is not really the question anymore, turning around while re-establishing

B. Media firms – Print, Ink vs iPad, SmartPads

Same is to be said of the media firms that sell magazines serving to the local or regional public. They too suffer to accept reality and adapt to changing environment. Many of such firms are going through a major revamp across europe and we have witnessed to highly publicized boardroom dramas where executives have failed to propose a internet-based strategy vs the print/ink. Such firms risk existence with the advent of mobile devices should they not change now!

C. Telecom providers

I was reading this article on how Apple is slowly taking over control of the consumer’s wishes by winning their hearts with their design. So is Google with its extremely smart and instant services. Both these firms and also lets not forget Facebook, which came out of nowhere to increase competition or at-least add the competition.

What does that mean to telecom providers? I think telcos have a lot to lose but also a lot to gain. Telcos willing to lose non-core assets — such as irrelevant products/services — and eventually start moving aggressively towards consumer services by servicizing and productizing the “new” needs, are poised for a future where they still will emerge as survivors and live to fight another market/consumer share battle, the ones who don’t will witness a painful demise. So instead of me doing gloom-n-doom think of this:
– What will you do when Google would have launched the free, 100Gbits network, all free?
– What will you do in Apple offers its own telenet services for free to its growing eco-system and subsidization might become a non-issue altogether.
– What if Facebook launches its telenet services with packed collab-based services, mail is the beginning of the rest

So clearly the playing field is being leveled, Where are you?

P.S: Part 2 will discuss other industries affected indirectly like Healthcare, IT Service providers etc.