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October 15, 2015updated 22 Sep 2016 11:56am

Deloitte warns CIOs to brace for tech disruption

Analysis: Amplified Intelligence, Core Renaissance, Dimensional Marketing - expect major disruption in the next two years.

By Joao Lima

Over the next 18 to 24 months businesses worldwide will be faced with new trends and disruptive technologies.

Addressing the audience at Software AG’s Innovation World in Las Vegas, Michelle Shuttleworth, director at Deloitte, spoke of the fusion between business and IT combined with the growing relevance of CIOs.

"Business and technology are merging. Barriers to entry are being lowered. Richer businesses are being formed as traditional organisations grow.

"If there is someone in an organisation that should have an overview of the technology is the CIO (…) who has the ability to be the connecting tissue of the business, and the driving force for intersecting, IT-heavy initiatives.

"Today’s tech trends are bookended, starting first with the CIO and ending with the IT worker of the future."

Outlining a number of different tech trends, Shuttleworth’s first trend discussion involved the defining of the CIO role.

Shuttleworth said that chief information officers will start acting as chief integration officers, "bridging business and technology, new CXO roles, and the possibilities of tomorrow with the realities of today".

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"It is incredibly important that the CIO steps forward with his or her strategy. CIOs must be focused on operation efficiency and it is incredibly important to be versed in technology."

A second trend the consulting firm has found is the API economy, where an organisation’s core assets can be reused, shared, and monetised through APIs that can extend the reach of existing services or provide new revenue streams.

She said: "[APIs offer] Integration as a discipline, exposing core assets for reuse, growth, and innovation. As technology has been evolving, APIs have become the heart of business strategy.

"You do need to think of the API as a product, and secondly, you need to think about security, a very important part of the API journey."

Shuttleworth also spoke of IoT and that in order for IoT to work, a new trend that companies need to embrace is Ambient Computing (AC).

"AC is what puts IoT to work, harnessing real potential of the IoT. It is all about trying to figure out what should be connected.

"The goal is not the internet of whole things, it is the internet of some things. When it comes to AC it is important to think of the outcome."

Deloitte explains that AC is the backdrop of sensors, devices, intelligence, and agents that can put the IoT to work.

Following on from this, Shuttleworth spoke of Dimensional Marketing, where a new version of marketing is being formed as CMOs and CIOs invest in technology for marketing automation, next-generation omnichannel approaches, content development, customer analytics, and commerce initiatives.

She said: "Modern marketing brings new challenges in customer engagement, connectivity, data and insight. Marketing is being flipped out and going back to the company [instead of going out].

"The CIO is very well positioned in terms of marketing to support the organisation. Marketing is going to layer in digital and analytics, as the web is going to become the ground of marketing."

The fifth tech trend she spoke about was Software-defined everything, where "the entire operation environment [server, storage, and network] can be virtualised and automated."

This trend will change the data centre, and can also elevate infrastructure investments, from costly plumbing to competitive differentiators.

Shuttleworth continued to the next trend – core renaissance – where "re-platforming, architecting and revitalising IT are at the heart of the business".

Beyond running the heart of the business, these assets can form the foundation for growth and new service development, she said.

Moving on, Amplified Intelligence is the seventh trend Deloitte has found which can have an impact on organisations.

Shuttleworth said this should not be confused with artificial intelligence, as this amplified intelligence augments and enhances the individual with emerging technologies, including "cognitive analytics, visualisations, wearables and beyond".

Lastly, Shuttleworth talked about the IT worker of the future, one that will need "steam, not just STEM [with] fine arts alongside deep technical talent".

"By 2020 there will be one million programmer jobs that have not been filled. Innovation is becoming a huge factor for workers. Design also at the heart of the worker of the future."

She said that to fight the skills gap, companies will likely need to cultivate a new IT worker with habits, incentives, and skills that are inherent from those in play today.

"The changing role of IT is going to be about how we can capitalise on the trends."

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