Technology lessons learned for the CIO in 2018 – and what to expect in 2019
As CIOs look to get their organisations on board with disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Robotic Process Automation (RPA), it’s important to ensure that they take the right journey. After all, the path to digital transformation isn’t the same for everyone.
CIOs need to ask themselves how AI will exactly help deliver their business goals, or indeed how RPA will integrate into their infrastructure. And what about the cloud, which will no doubt become integral to AI and RPA? Just last month, Google announced its Cloud Robotics platform, which combines the power of AI, robotics and the cloud, will launch in 2019. Will this make AI and RPA more accessible to businesses? Finally, who should be driving this technology change?
While technology is a clear differentiator for businesses, and will continue to be a major focus over the next 12 months and beyond, it’s critical that CIOs look back before they look forward. Here are five key lessons learned that will influence technology decision-making in 2019:
Using (the right) technology needs to be a key spending priority
There could be a danger of getting distracted, not only by external pressures like Brexit but also by cool new technology trends. What’s clear from our Annual Survey 2018/2019 is that organisations want to in invest in the technology – in fact, 52% say technology is their business spending priority for 2019 and 35% want to see AI in their working life. However, CIOs need to focus on what the business really needs and not what’s nice to have.
While there are a handful of core technologies that all organisations can benefit from, they must be considered with the same level of scrutiny as any other business investment. While blockchain, for example, can be a solution to many challenges, disrupting existing businesses as well as creating new opportunities, it can also be an overly complex way of delivering solutions – indeed, in a number of uses, it risks being a solution looking for a problem and being used to fuel hype when it would be faster, cheaper and more efficient to use traditional methods.
Businesses need to look for clearer direction for technology adoption
Most organisations want to be part of the digital revolution and embrace technology to unleash productivity gains. However, there are some misconceptions about what to prioritise. Compliance and cyber security, it seems, are holding many organisations from moving ahead in the digital era. In fact, according to our report, 43% think new technologies (like AI and RPA) would put their company at greater risk of a security attack.
CIOs will need to look for reassurance and support from technology providers on how they can embrace innovative technology safely, securely and in line with the law. This means they can forge ahead with adoption in the right way. What many organisations sadly fail to realise is that new technologies are in fact more secure than legacy systems – they are built with security in mind from the start and to perform in the connected world. Ensuring organisations embrace modernisation plans will be key – to avoid legacy lag too, where innovation is held back by ageing legacy systems. This message will therefore need to continue to be shared over the coming year.
The role of the CIO needs to take centre stage in digital transformation
For any technology implementation to succeed, employees must see the value in using digital tools to drive productivity, otherwise, it will be a waste of time and money. Successful digital transformation requires a digital pioneer in every organisation – someone who can work closely with their colleagues and listen to their pain points and agreeing which digital tools can be adopted with confidence by all.
The CIO is suitably placed to better drive adoption of technology across the organisation and will become vital over the coming year. And, with the CIO partnering with the rest of the C-Suite who will bring their respective skills and contacts to the tables, technology adoption will be far more effective.
Automation needs to be used to win back time
There will be an increase in the up-take of technology to eliminate repetitive, mundane business processes, leaving staff to focus on what they do best. In fact, our Trends Survey shows that 65% of professionals would be happy to work alongside robotic technology if it meant less manual processes.
Not only will automation boost business performance but wellbeing and relationships too. Many CIOs and other leaders are under pressure and, while some pressure is good, too much can have a detrimental effect on their health. Winning back time will have a positive impact on business, and ultimately the wider economy and automation will play a leading role in this over-work crisis.
Greater focus on using technology is needed to improve the customer experience
Businesses that fail to embrace disruptive technologies will start to miss out as customers instead opt for a service that is personalised, value-added, flexible and demonstrates innovation. According to our research, 54% want online self-service portals or live web chats with agents while 28% want an online community. With time at a premium, we will therefore see business-driven tools like AI and automation become essential for customer engagement.
Finally, there’s a critical message about listening to the next generation as they enter the workforce. These younger workers are seasoned technology users and therefore already familiar with (and keen to adopt) the tools that can make the workplace more efficient. There’s no doubt they will start driving change in companies – and it’s up to CIOs to help their organisation embrace it.
Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their use-cases? Attend the co-located IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, AI & Big Data Expo and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam and explore the future of enterprise technology.
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