Top Technology Trends for CIOs and IT Leaders
Since 2020, organizations have fast-forwarded digital objectives in response to changing consumer behaviors and technologies. Gartner says, 70% of CIOs now assume “the leadership of high-impact initiatives.” Consequently, executives look to CIOs and IT leaders for strategic technology trends. They want to know about possible opportunities, benefits, and risks.
CEOs expect you to show them how these trends affect their future. Explore the top technology trends and how CIO’s and IT leaders can act on them to build resilience and future-proof their business.
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1. Assess and Improve Foundational Technologies
Gartner forecasts that “cloud-native platforms (CNPs) will serve as the foundation for more than 95% of new digital initiatives by 2025 — up from less than 40% in 2021.” Leaders at organizations that aren’t as far in their digital efforts as others will need to complete an assessment, prioritize cloud environments, and decide where to start.
You may want to bolster your current cloud infrastructure, review software as a service (SaaS) tools, and think about how your needs will change in upcoming years. It’s also essential to look at emerging technologies, such as edge computing and virtualization, and the foundational technologies required to support them.
2. Enhance WFH Experiences
Work from home (WFH) or distributed teams change how, when, and where people work. As a result, many organizations review their operating models when switching to hybrid or remote work. Garter predicts that companies that leverage a distributed enterprise model “will realize revenue growth 25% faster than their peers.”
CIOs must evaluate workflows and technologies to ensure frictionless work experiences and positive impacts on business models. Today, CIOs play a vital role in the overall employee experience. Creating a successful digital strategy for workers can realize a quicker return on investment (ROI) for attracting and retaining talent.
A digital workplace is an excellent place to start. A centralized system can increase employee engagement and improve productivity. It lets your staff communicate and collaborate in natural ways that mimic in-office experiences.
3. Speed Up Business Processes
CIOs consider business process management (BPM) or workflow automation both a necessity and a revenue-driving opportunity. IDG’s 2021 State of the CIO reports that “automating IT and business processes was flagged as becoming more important over the next six to 12 months by 81% of the respondents.” Likewise, 56% of CIOs said their top revenue-generating strategy “was to help create new products and services by automating business or IT processes.”
Automating repeatable day-to-day tasks increases your organization’s productivity. After identifying tasks to automate, match them to your business goals and choose the best tools for the job.
Common workflows CIOs automate for business productivity include:
- Accounts receivable
- Hiring process
- Purchase orders
- Employee onboarding
- Claims processing
- Employee analytics and retention
4. Tackle AI and ML Projects
Currently, generative AI accounts for less than 1% of all data produced. However, Gartner predicts it’ll “account for 10% of all data produced” in 2025. Increasingly, organizations turn to generative AI for targeted marketing or creating software code. IDG’s CIO Technology Priorities survey finds, “21% of organizations are already piloting AI and ML technologies, and 46% expect to increase their spending on it.”
Intelligent tools and services powered by AI and ML help workers do their jobs more efficiently in nearly every occupation. Like business process automation, AI is used across companies, from predictive maintenance to lead qualification.
5. Think Long-Term With Autonomic Systems
As leaders search for ways to future-proof and scale their businesses, autonomic systems could be the answer. According to Dynatrace’s 2020 Global CIO report, 65% of US-based CIOs say “the complexity of their cloud environment has surpassed human ability to manage.” Autonomic systems learn from their environments, reducing the need for external software updates and management.
Autonomous IT collects data and supply IT leaders, with optimization options and predictions about potential future issues. Although we mainly see autonomic systems used in security, they’ll be part of smart spaces and manufacturing machines in the future. Gartner suggests that this technology will mature over the next five years.
6. Prioritize Cybersecurity
Your security measures affect customers and vendors, making it important to future-proof your business. A data breach causes reputational damage, and an attack could leave your customers or vendors without access to their accounts or business-critical tools. So it makes sense that IDG reports that 65% of IT leaders plan to increase spending on cybersecurity initiatives, and 25% said forensics and real-time security monitoring were top priorities.
Privacy-enhancing computation (PEC) and cybersecurity mesh architecture (CSMA) are two strategic tech trends reported by Gartner. Three in five large enterprises will use one or more PEC techniques by 2025. Furthermore, Gartner predicts, “by 2024, organizations adopting a CSMA to integrate security tools to work as a cooperative ecosystem will reduce the financial impact of individual security incidents by an average of 90%.”
Of course, cybersecurity also requires ongoing employee training and the right tools to oversee virtual workspaces. When planning digital initiatives, CIOs should build cybersecurity into the initial considerations and think about it at every step. A proactive approach to transformation helps protect your systems against threats of the future.
7. Improve the Total Experience (TX)
According to Gartner, “the goal of TX is to drive greater customer and employee confidence, satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.” However, currently, too many siloes exist, with different teams working on customer experience (CX), user experience (UX), employee experience (EX), and multi-experience (MX).
Instead, CIOs should consider merging CX and EX to increase revenue and profit. Companies that unify EX and CX into a cohesive strategy make better progress towards experience goals and realizer more significant benefits. But there are challenges. A ServiceNow and ESI ThoughtLab study finds that executives don’t fully buy into CX and EX benefits.
CIOs looking to invest in total experience strategies will need to connect TX activities to overall business goals and outline the benefits clearly. Not only for a year out but how TX objectives can drive revenue and cost savings in the future.
8. Curate Staff With the Right Skills
IDG reports that 47% of IT leaders face skill gaps. As such, finding, retraining, and retaining employees will be a primary goal for CIOs. While managed service providers and independent contractors can help fill the gap, upskilling and reskilling staff will increase resilience further. According to IDG, “75% of SMBs and 67% of enterprises” are “upskilling existing staff to meet demand.” In comparison, “63% of SMBs and 55% of enterprises” are reskilling employees.
Individual employee dashboards with professional development opportunities, surveys, and training options help workers and leaders find comparable skillsets and prepare for the future of work. Use insights from other digital objectives to determine what skills your team lacks and which ones will be in-demand in the future.
9. Leverage Data for Digital Initiatives
The sheer amount of data can overwhelm companies and leaders. And a lack of skilled personnel in data and analytics poses an additional problem. However, we’re moving quickly towards corporate environments where everything is measured. IoT sensors and connected machines monitor smart buildings and factories, leading to safety and efficiency improvements.
Moreover, CIO leaders are tasked with turning data into insights that generate buy-in for mission-critical projects. Data fabric technology may provide a solution. Gartner says, “A data fabric’s real value is its ability to dynamically improve data usage with its inbuilt analytics, cutting data management efforts by up to 70% and accelerating time to value.”
Build a Trusted, Future-Forward Brand
CIOs must understand and prioritize technologies that drive successful business outcomes. Each digital transformation goal should build trust and confidence in your organization. By identifying initiatives that add value, you can develop resiliency and lead your company into the future.
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