Mobile, social and cloud computing have created seismic shifts in the business technology landscape over the last seven years. Instead of simply evolving our 2011 top trends research, this year we’re taking a fresh look at how technology is fueling business change anchored by three broad themes:
- Engagement: Engaged customers drive the pace of business change.
- Smart: Firms rely on smart systems for competitive advantage.
- Nimble: IT embraces change to help them be both nimble and secure.
Constantly connected customers, empowered by broadband connectivity and millions of apps have turned the tables on business. The only way to keep up is to engage with them, and this increasingly requires a compelling digital experience that adds value to people’s lives, in their context and at their moment of need.
In order to compete, firms must keep a close eye on trends changing the way that they should think about digital convergence, digital experience delivery and how they interact with their environment through APIs. Digital experience delivery in particular is going to be a make or break point for many firms as we move forward. It is crucial that firms realize that software has become vital to brand impression.
The use of flexible processes, better analytics, smart devices and sensors means that leading firms can 1) create intelligent products and services that provide more value to customers and more data on customer activities, 2) plug into their ecosystem better by tapping data from partners, government entities and data market places, and 3) make better strategic decisions by anticipating and detecting shifts in the markets.
Firms are using information technology to operate in a more intelligent fashion; to stay ahead they must continue to adapt to these trends: business ownership of process and intelligence; saying ‘yes’ to new business ideas for data innovation and value; and using sensors and devices to draw ecosystems together. Leaders are shedding data limitations by figuring out the real value behind the hype of big data.
Firms that know how to create cost effective data hubs, agile information fabrics and deploy real-time predictive apps to meet customer at their moment of need will win.
IT is embracing change to help their business be both nimble and secure. The pace of digital disruption makes the future less predictable, but firms must also deal with the fact that information has never been more available and the pressure on IT to be more open has never been higher. To help them be both nimble and secure response, leading organizations are employing agile methods to deploy emerging technologies like converged infrastructure, and adopt new concepts like zero trust security.
As firms create more nimble and secure ways of meeting business needs, the top changes to look out for are: Rethinking “trust” and “identity” in light of “zero trust” models that build security into application and data foundations and inspect everything that happens; making infrastructure an enabler of business demand for engagement; enabling mobile engagement and take advantage of cloud for specific workloads; and brokering and governing service delivery with a new set of processes and skills that allows infrastructure to cope with the new pace of business.
Ultimately, IT must radically transform its planning, management and delivery approach or fade away as the new pace of business makes old ideas increasingly irrelevant.