The Internet of Things, unrelenting expansion of big data, and increasing ability to analyse and act on data are likely to be hallmarks of key technology trends in 2015 and beyond.
That’s the view of Max McLaren, regional vice president and general manager, Red Hat, who expects to see continued change and challenges for the Chief Information Officer (CIO).
“Information technology has an essential role in virtually every organisation today,” he explains, “so it has become critically important to break free from set behaviours and relationships in order to establish IT as a full business partner.
“Organisations that embrace change and adopt new ways of working can be more successful, gaining a competitive advantage over those that are not willing to move forward.”
McLaren has outlined six key business and technology trends that he anticipates for 2015:
1. The CIO becomes a Chief Innovation Officer
“While CIOs have traditionally worked to bridge the divide between IT and business, and have made significant progress in their efforts to align IT activities with business unit requirements, the need to proactively supply the business with “platforms of innovation” are now a necessity and not a luxury or a side project.
“In 1958, the average tenure of a Fortune 500 company was 61 years, today it is 18. Of the Fortune 500 companies that existed in 1955, 87% of them are now extinct.
“Companies that innovate, encourage experiments and trial and error are more likely to create shareholder wealth and greater returns on equity.
“As a result, the role of the CIO has moved beyond the traditional IT manager. He or she is front and centre of almost every organisation either as an enabler or inhibitor to future success.
“Successful CIOs must look to break free from set behaviours and relationships to establish themselves as business strategy leaders and disentangle themselves from the impression that their role is simply to keep the organisation’s IT function operating.”
2. Businesses leaders need to look beyond instinct or previous experience to make decisions
“Businesses looking to sharpen their competitive edge need to be able to predict customers’ behaviour and make smart decisions accordingly.
“CRO’s (Customer Relationship Officers) and CMO’s (Chief Marketing Officers) are looking at customer intimacy, inference based decision making and real-time event tracking to engage customers, create ongoing dialogue and relationship with the brand, their products and services.
“The challenge is making the IT systems work for the end customer. Complex event processing (CEP) is one of the pragmatic and evolutionary steps in predictive and inference based decision making for the business. CEP works in real-time.
“It enables companies to analyse data from a number of different sources, from big data, data warehouses, data lakes and CRM systems to draw more accurate conclusions and therefore make smarter business decisions that deliver better customer experience.
“CEP removes the guesswork for a customer-facing person (e.g. customer call agent) or system (e.g. online chat) to suggest, offer or package products, services and decisions that drive brand loyalty and greater wallet-share.”