As we enter the new decade, Chris Gabriel, Director of Technology for Logicalis UK, looks at some of the biggest trends impacting businesses and the technology industry. Chief Information Officers (CIOs) have become a staple and responsible part of modern enterprises’ leadership. This year, as the capabilities of technology improve businesses’ efficiencies, CIOs’ decisions carry more strategic weight. Underpinning this is digital success and data as the driving force, leading companies to succeed or fail in the digital age.
As organisations look to continuously innovate and transform, this decade will bring a more digitally-driven future with businesses looking to see how they can strive for digital success. Our recent survey of over 800 CIOs found exactly this; 43% of CIOs are now expected to contribute to revenue growth whilst also spending time on the day-to-day management of IT.
There is a conflict here, and it is clear from our survey that CIOs are struggling to keep up with the demands of the modern business as almost half of respondents (49%) feel their job satisfaction has decreased in the last year. With job roles continuously changing as digital transformation revolutionises all industries, board members and business leaders need to consider 4 key digital indicators to ensure their business strategy responds to the needs of the modern customer, employee and ever-changing business landscape.
This year, board members need to begin to understand the importance of transparency, to ensure trust is created and maintained across the business and with customers. Although cybersecurity plays a big part in digital trust, how the business uses its customers’ data is more important than cyber protection.
For example, a recent Cisco survey found that most respondents (91%) say they will not buy from a company if they don’t trust how their data will be used. These results suggest that people have become more aware of their privacy rights and will therefore only interact with organisations who they trust will be responsible with their data.
The new digital decade will also see organisations asking themselves whether their product or service meets all the characteristics of something that can be a leader in the market. Organisations across every industry have shifted their business to operate more in digital channels and as a result, the digital capability and performance of companies has become a defining element of customer loss and gain. As such, organisations will need to measure digital performance to understand where they need to invest to improve their services and achieve digital success.
The balance between digital performance and digital trust will become a focal point in 2020. Organisations often aim to achieve digital performance over digital trust, but customers would choose trust over performance when it comes to selecting a company to partner with or buy from.
We spent a lot of the first digital decade choosing consolidation and virtualisation over personalisation. However, now customers are looking for a more personalised experience when interacting with a brand and this is what will differentiate companies from the competition; how brands personalise the customer experience through platforms and processes will give them an edge over competitors. Survival into the next digital decade depends on the personalised experience an organisation can provide.
Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies are on the rise –our study found that 61% of businesses are now using IoT technologies, a 33% increase compared to last year. It also revealed that 41% of organisations have implemented AI, a figure which has more than doubled from just 19% last year.
IoT, AI and Machine Learning (ML) are becoming more commonplace and utilised to achieve personalisation, performance and trust. Businesses must choose the right services or technology to deliver the best performance for their customers. Our personal lives are now inundated with a variety of technologies and digital choices and companies are now looking to do the same to innovate the business.
So, those are my top tips for businesses in 2020. I anticipate board members will become more knowledgeable in trust, choice, performance and personalisation over the next few years. While they don’t need to be a group of experts in every technology their organisation invests in, executives should measure their business in a new way that will assure shareholders that they have grasped their role in guiding and governing their business’ digital future.