OK, I used that headline to get your attention. Now read on—I’ll make it worth your while. Whirlpool, the largest appliance manufacturer in the world, has been a household name for generations. Any guesses who the second- and third-largest manufacturers are? Bosch is No. 2, and Electrolux is No. 3. Many people are surprised to hear those names. Nevertheless, Bosch has in fact been sneaking up in market share for years.

All kinds of things are sneaking up on CIOs, and many don’t realize it. For example, think about the everyday terms we once used in IT: software development life cycle, mainframe, MIPS, terminal, COBOL, chargeback, table-driven, batch, dialup, and even client/server. That’s just a random sampling of terms that are nearly obsolete or have become very specialized. Yet some CIOs and IT shops still operate as if those terms are in vogue.

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