Wednesday, March 25, 2015

CIOs Risk Being Marginalised Through Obsolete Thinking

Big Data (source: Wikipedia)
Big Data (source: Wikipedia)
Emerging digital technologies have the power to either excite or irritate corporate kingpins responsible for company tech. It presents pressing challenges to Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and IT managers to keep up with the ever-changing maelstrom of development, and it downright harasses the unfortunate CIOs who maintain a mindset of: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

Not embracing tech for various reasons

Even CIOs not stuck on outdated tech, are falling behind in terms of technological progress. According to research from the progressive analysts at Gartner, a disturbing percentage of CIOs are not grasping the full spectrum of opportunities that the state-of-the-art tech of the 21st century offers. The excuse? "There is just too much tech to come to terms with these days", they allegedly say.

A simple solution in a veritable tech jungle

Gartner not only identified the problem but also offers a clear-cut way forward. To make things easier for CIOs who are feeling overwhelmed, the intrepid company has identified six of the core areas of technology:
  • Wearable tech and human augmentation - Social, religious and ethical issues have not stunted the rapid growth of making tech so accessible you literally wear it. Human augmentation takes it one step further and is not lagging far behind in development. CIOs will have to consider the implications of not accepting this as the next step to maintain a competitive edge.
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) - Big Media and Big Data is big news, as is environmental monitoring and energy management. CIOs can also expect to start hearing more about IoT technology in areas like interactive building automation and fleet management integrated with geo-location. According to Gartner, the biggest problem is the potential for political tension between departments when faced with the ultimate in integration.
  • Cyber safety - Unfortunately, corporate espionage is fast becoming an integral part of unscrupulous corporate companies' agendas. It is a dog-eat-dog world and serious players need to protect themselves. 
  • 3D printing - The possibilities are endless for this particular technology, and are already being applied in areas like manufacturing, art and even in domestic use. CIOs should become familiar with 3D printing before it becomes a crucial element as part of routine tasks. 
  • Robotics - Automation has been, and continues to be a priority in progress. With every passing year more has to happen in a shorter time-frame. Simply put: we need machines just to keep up with the rest of the world in daily life. In business, this is becoming even more vital.
  • Cognitive machines - A scary notion, but that will not make it go away. CIOs should look at ways of using this as complementary technology and not a replacement for human work.

Say yes to innovation

According to Gartner, CIOs will have to look at restructuring as soon as possible to accommodate overlapping areas of responsibility. Operations-focused technologies would fall under operations as well as IT and the same applies to HR-focused tech, marketing tech etc. The trick to seamless integration is planning, but before that can happen they have to say yes to the tech and take responsibility, or they will get left behind.

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