How do we stay relevant in our own industry?

My recent visit to the Fujitsu Forum 2015 in Munich got me thinking on what established people and companies need to do to stay relevant in our own industry.

At the event, you could engage in hundreds of conversations and dozens of sessions on innovation, connected enterprise, hybrid cloud, SaaS, disruption caused by digitization and so on. Interesting stuff, however, the world already moved on.

As much as many of us “older blokes” around try hard, the gap between the traditional and “new” IT becomes ever more visible. I see this when running our own company – to run day operations, we use tools such as Asana, HipChat, Slack, Trello or ZenDesk to start with. When we need to run anything in the virtual or physical server environment, we order it from the likes of, AWS or Fujitsu.

There is a whole young generation of 20-something IT Entrepreneurs, future leaders, consumers of the IT who are no longer interested in Servers, Storage or networking. There is already a generation of established SaaS CRM providers for example. All you need to to is to subscribe and start using use the tool that fits your current business requirements. The complex commercial software such as SAP – is not on the radar of this new generation of future enterprise IT consumers.

None of this is stuff we discuss at traditional IT companies’ conferences. We talk hybrid cloud, because we fear “public cloud” is not safe for running our business. We stress there will always be a need for customers to have their own IT infrastructure. My view is this is because there is a generational problem comming.

This is why those of us who are around 20+ years in the industry will have to find our way how to cope with such a major disruption in our own industry. If we don’t adapt quickly enough, if we fail to shift our mindsets to accept that traditional IT as we knew it for most of our careers is history… many of us will struggle to stay relevant and could find ourselves out of business.

How do we stay relevant in our own industry?