CIO remains the most commonly used title for the executive who runs technology, but the IT leadership position is in an almost-constant state of flux. CIOs have spent 20 years proving they understand business issues as well as technology concerns. Yet, in many ways, what the enterprise needs now is someone who understands technology in detail and can demonstrate how these tools can help the business transform. This focus on technology helps explain the rise in popularity of the CTO role.
PCs may have been viewed as yesterday's news thanks to the rise of smaller form factors like smartphones, tablets and wearables, but trusty laptops and desktops (and variations on them like Chromebooks and even Raspberry Pis) have proven their worth during lockdown for workers and kids doing home schooling. But that utility doesn't imply future sales: Canalys forecasts that global PC and tablet shipments will fall 7% from 396 million devices in 2019 to 368 million in 2020. According to the analyst firm, the global PC market will remain flat in 2021 and return to growth, at 2%, in 2022.
A new report from research firm CCS Insights predicts that 5G will reach the one-billion connections mark in 2022, surging to 3.2 billion connections in 2025. The analyst team behind the report said that their expectations for 2025 were even more bullish than previous forecasts. China, particularly, is expected to lead the growth, with one billion connections reached in 2024. The resilience of 5G is largely attributed to the highly anticipated release of Apple's next-generation iPhone, which is rumored to be fitted with 5G capability.
For more see: Why the next iPhone will be the 'unofficial start' to 5G
Research from tech specialist Veritone says almost three out of four (73%) CEOs and 67% of CTOs cite innovation and differentiation as driving artificial intelligence (AI) adoption in their organisation, yet half of respondents admit to lacking knowledge about the potential benefits of using AI. Most businesses say that they employ AI to complete repetitive, time-consuming tasks. Respondents indicate asset metadata creation (40%), content recommendations (37%) and captioning/subtitling/scripting (33%) as the top uses of AI.
US chief financial officers are plotting product, pricing, and services changes, investing in tech and aiming for agility as the potential for another wave of COVID-19 infections looms, according to a survey by PwC. As economies, businesses, and offices start to reopen, the PwC survey of 330 finance leaders highlights the moving parts. Seventy-one of the CFOs are confident that they can provide a safe working environment, and 54% plan to make remote work a permanent option, according to PwC.
Many CFOs are looking to aggressively cut costs as a significant recession looms in many countries. That's putting pressure on CIOs to deliver some big reductions in spending, at least in the short term. The problem is that many cutbacks are only measured on their potential cost savings, without considering the wider effects that proposed cost savings may have on the business, warns Gartner. The tech analyst argues that a simplistic approach could have negative impacts - or most likely fail.
Gartner's analysys follows research from tech analyst IDC, who suggest that IT spending is likely to drop by 5% this year, with spending on hardware like PCs and smartphones falling even as some cloud projects may accelerate - especially if they help to control costs and defer capital spending on upgrades to on-premise data centres and applications. Cost cutting will vary by company; some firms will cut capital spending, while others will either delay new projects or seek to cut costs in other ways.
Forrester has revised its tech-spending forecast for the Australian market, believing it will shrink in 2020 as Australia enters a recession for the first time in 29 years. The researcher has developed three scenarios. In its first scenario, Forrester believes Australia's tech spending could slump by around 3% in 2020, before it rebounds to positive growth of 4.5% in 2021, which is similar to 2019 spend levels. It adds that software spending growth would lead the tech recovery.