Everything will change. Not how we love our families. Or enjoy our friends. But the way we go about our lives is on the verge of a transformation we could only imagine in our wildest of dreams. Welcome to the era of Exponential Technology. A world in which emerging advancements will bring a new reality, born of the relationship between man, and machine.
The incredible pace of evolving technology is detonating an explosion of opportunities that the human mind has yet to even grasp. Autonomous Cars driving themselves, Cognitive Robots running business operations, Virtual Agents and Assistants helping customers and selling goods and services. Regardless of your view as to whether it’s right or wrong — The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us.
It’s is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. — Charles Darwin
And what does that mean for us? For our businesses? For our World? Moore’s law, which refers to an observation set forth by Intel co-founder, Gordon Moore in 1965, which shows that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since their invention. This means that the overall processing power of computers will double every two years.
Look at the growth in just the last year alone. Mountain ranges of data, growing new peaks every day. Data that if secured, if organized, if analyzed and utilized could unfold insights that might cure the world of most maladies we know today. So how do we start? How do we begin this journey of weaving together such intricate and intelligent strands of technology and knowledge? There may only be one thing clear. That organizations — whatever they may be — will only survive if they can embrace perpetual technical transformation. The only constant is change.
CIOs — Blazing the Trail
We are feeling the first tremors of change in the industries of our nations. A new normal will usher in both a workforce, and a business evolution. AI (Artificial Intelligence) and automation will shift the responsibility of work, removing the mundane and offering an incredible opportunity to take stake in the future. The disruption of traditional institutions is unfolding in front of our eyes, as the advent of emerging technologies quickly changes our lives.
So, who will be our frontiersman? Who will forge the path and write the map of our technological future? From many views, we are looking straight into the eyes of the CIOs (Chief Information Officers) of our global business institutions. That’s right. The CIOs of industry will in many ways be the trailblazers in our technological future. The onus will be put on these brave teams, as they attempt to decipher and harness all that is possible. Man. Data. Technology.
TOP global trend expected to have an impact over the next 3 years
Totally about Tech
Let’s face it — there has never been a more exciting, and sometimes, more terrifying, time for the office of the CIO. The days of simply overseeing traditional IT infrastructure maintenance duties are over. Technology is now the center of strategy, and the capability of one’s IT systems will be the key force driving business decisions going forward.
The expectations for CIOs, who often report directly to the CEOs, have transformed drastically. More and more, they are tasked with successfully applying a plethora of constantly emerging technologies to create unique experiences, for employee and customer alike. CIOs of the future will be expected to drive new revenue streams and insure differentiated and competitive advantages for the business.
For CIOs to transform their organizations and lead digital strategies, they will first have to re-imagine their own roles, pushing past traditional approaches and leaving old comfort zones behind. CIOs will have to devise a way to build smarter services and applications that optimize the latest technologies — cloud, cognitive, IoT, Blockchain, digitization — and more. So where do they begin?
What the world is experiencing today is not just another paradigm shift. It is probably the most disruptive industrial revolution mankind has ever experienced. To save organizations from drowning in this tidal wave of change, CIOs will have to think and behave more like the head of a tech company. In the past, IT planning usually meant deciding how an IT budget would be spent in the coming year — now CIOs are being asked to re-imagine the future with AI and Automation at the core of the business. In this scenario, technology becomes the business — not something to support the business.
The CIO of tomorrow will have to be an active advisor, broker and orchestrator to make business design change happen. CIOs will have to be in lockstep with other business stakeholders, like the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) and the CDO (Chief Digital Officer), to co-create, not just stand-alone solutions, but the future state of the business. Moving forward will require IT departments to leave the ivory tower and collaborate with, not only business lines- but end users as well!
Customers today don’t want to be delivered something they haven’t had a say in designing. To satisfy the barrage of increasing customer demands will take nothing short of radical collaboration. The questions CIOs must answer today are nothing like the ones they have answered in the past; Do you have an AI and Automation team? Do you have a customer-focused UX (User Experience) team? Do you have Tech Strategists and Data Scientists at work? How about fully formed and scaled Advanced Analytics divisions? Have you re-designed your business around intelligent machines, with supreme customer experience as the end goal? And that’s only the beginning.
Everyone is in IT
In a Digital Workplace — everyone is in IT, which means big changes for HR (Human Resources). In a recent Gartner survey 80% of the CIOs and IT leaders polled predicted that the skills and knowledge their organizations will need in 10 years will have little resemblance to what they have today. AI and Automation will force organizations to make a choice — cut workers or retrain them for higher level jobs. The future will see an emergence of robots performing a multitude of tasks, but someone will have to train, maintain and up-grade them. Tomorrow’s employees will have to maximize opportunities for technology and people to work together.
So, the CIO of tomorrow will not just be responsible for facilitating digital transformation — but to lead it. CIOs will have to evolve along with the enterprise. The fact that organizations have equal access to emerging technologies, carving out a competitive advantage in future markets won’t be easy. But the opportunity to weave disparate tools and approaches together could deliver exponential advancement. The earlier a CIO accepts that business strategy and technology are inseparable, the sooner the organization can begin to transform to fluidly accept the waves of change necessary to win in a Digital Economy.