As a tribute to the life of Steve Jobs we at Smart Enterprise Exchange and Smart Enterprise magazine compiled some reflections from global enterprise IT executives and thought leaders on his life and impact. We invited a few CIOs and Exchange members to comment on the influence Jobs had on them personally as well how his influence impacted IT and their enterprise. From the Apple II, to the iPad, businesses always had strong feelings about Apple and its leader. At the same time, many CIOs' own career paths progressed in parallel with Jobs and with Apple's ups and downs. As a result, unique connections exist.
Here are some thoughts on the passing of this innovator and disrupter. We invite you to add and share your comments on this thread as well.
Steve Wrenn, SVP, Enterprise IT Services CVS / Caremark.
“We not only lost a technology visionary, we lost one of the greatest creative innovators we have ever seen in the industry. Steve Jobs possessed the unique ability that allowed him to anticipate what people wanted, and needed, before they knew they would need it, and the intestinal fortitude to drive these ideas through.”
Dan Greller, former CIO who now writes about enterprise IT management at the Invisible Laws blog
"Although the iPhone and the iPad have started gaining acceptance in the enterprise, Apple's technology was never a significant presence in large firms. Steve Jobs' real impact on the enterprise was in two areas: First, the original Macintosh popularized the notion of a graphical interface and mouse. This led to large-scale migration from character-based systems, albeit using PC's running Windows.
More recently, Steve's influence on the enterprise was through the ascendancy of consumer-driven technology. This has had a profound impact on enterprises that are challenged to duplicate the "delightful" experience that customers have when utilizing Apple's products. Customers now expect enterprise software to be easy to provision, intuitive to use and constantly upgraded with exciting features.
Peter Hinssen, CEO, Across Technology, author, speaker
The passing of Steve Jobs brings me back to the excitement of seeing and touching a Mac in 1984, and instantly sensing that this would change the world of computing forever. The rush of adrenaline that this unique blending of design and engineering compelled me to get into IT and into the job I do today. Jobs helped to create the world that I work in, and I still sense the pleasure every day of being excited and thrilled by seeing how technology can change our lives. Thanks, Steve.
Sandra Hoffman, President, Women in Technology and CIO-in-Residence, ATDC. Former CIO and Chief People Officer at MAPICS, as well as COO for Turknett Leadership Group.
The depth of this loss is surprising to me. I felt a need to comfort my MacBook, lay a gentle hand across my iPad, and search for an app for grief on my iPhone. I went to FaceBook. I tweeted a "say-it-isn't-so." I hit FlipBoard to read the news on multiple channels. I felt the loss personally -- as though these things were the man. As a member of the generation that recalls the death of John Kennedy and John Lennon, the death of Steve Jobs is the most impactful. His vision and innovation touch the global community in profound ways. His sense of design driving function speaks to the heart as well as the mind. He is Leonardo daVinci and Edison all rolled into one extraordinary leader. His lessons on how to live before you die and how to connect the dots reflect the depth of his own humility and courage. I never met him and yet his legacy touches my life every day through the digital experiences that are woven through each hour. For the IT industry, his death should be the Sputnik of our time -- a rally to move innovation to the forefront. His death gives us an opportunity to take up his mantra of "stay hungry, stay foolish."
Marco Coulter, Research Director, TheInfoPro
Steve Jobs did not create things – he created the opportunity for things to be created. Not the iPod or iPad, but a company that could build them. Not a cartoonist, but a company that could make Up. Not a designer, but the opportunity for designs to compete safely before reaching the market. Could leadership have a better definition?
Dave Hansen, CEO of Numara Software
What I find amazing about Apple is their uncanny ability to penetrate commercial enterprises without trying! The concept of consumerization of IT stems from Apple's approach to creating devices and technology that consumers truly desire and ultimately put pressure on their corporate enterprises to support. So, indirectly the enterprise needs to support Apple technology to ensure employee satisfaction and adoption.
John Halamka, CIO at Harvard Medical School
Steve provided us with technology that captured our imagination and empowered us solve healthcare IT problems in novel ways. He will be missed. I wrote a longer blog post about my brushes with Steve, which can be found here.
Liz Mann, CSO, Mycroft Inc.
When I reflect on all of the things that Steve Jobs’ passion and career have given us, I cannot help but think back to my first corporate job. I remember sitting down at my first desk and seeing C:\> on my computer screen and having no idea what to do. I went home, packed my Mac SE desktop computer into its suitcase, took it to work after everyone had gone home for the night, set it up under my desk, and used it at work until I’d mustered the courage to ask someone how to use the intimidating MS-DOS system. Now as I type on my MacBook Air or look at the wallpaper photo of my daughters on my iPhone at a desk without that “luggable” Mac SE underneath it, I am amazed at the advancements I have gotten to experience as a result of Steve’s vision. I am proud to be in an industry that is forever changed by his work and I am reminded that although Steve Jobs left this earth far too early, he certainly left a footprint that I, for one, am proud to follow.