Digital Transformation will continue to lead the way in 2016 with a focus on enterprise mobility and disruptive technologies. A recent SOTI report states that 25 percent of CIOs surveyed are spending 20-50 percent of their budgets on mobile technology.
We expect this trend to accelerate next year with the introduction of new innovative technologies and the need to support connected devices in online and offline modes. The trick will be accomplishing this while increasing resource efficiency to meet budgetary constraints.
Here are the top five trends that should be prioritized by CIOs in 2016:
1. IoT Comes of Age
IoT initiatives are well underway. A three year programme called IoT UK was launched recently by the UK government which is committed to invest £40 million to advance IoT in businesses and public sectors. Deutsche Telekom and SAP are working together on software standards for IoT devices. Volkmar Denner, the chief executive of Bosch, attached the future of his company to the Internet of Things. With products ranging from home appliances, and auto parts to industrial tools and monitoring systems, he knows his products must fuel “smart” homes and cars and digitize manufacturing in “smart” factories. The key to leveraging this initiative in 2016 will be to implement those IoT applications that can demonstrate success, result in strong ROI, and bring additional investment for further development.
2. Value Added Mobile App Development
According to IDC the number of enterprise applications optimized for mobility will quadruple by 2016. The big push for 2016 will be for a better understanding of which processes to mobilize based on their added value. There will be a move away from developing on a first-come, first-served basis, towards a prioritisation to apps that increase organisational efficiency, improve customer service or boost sales. Line-of-business leaders will look to CIOs to quickly provide anytime, anywhere mobile apps in both online and offline modes. CIOs should also make sure the platforms and tools employed provide a strong ROI by being resource-efficient, flexible, and enabling innovation and fast time-to-market.
3. "Platformization" of IT
Along with the increasing emphasis on enterprise mobility and system integration, there is a growing trend towards the use of platforms throughout IT. According to Gartner, by CIOs “platformising” their approach to delivery, talent and leadership, they can orchestrate different layers of the business, create value for their enterprise and become key digital leaders. For example, using rapid development platforms has the benefit that that security processes and database structures are built-in, streamlining the sharing and presentation of enterprise data, while improving usability and speeding time-to-market.
4. Sensible Re-Usable System Integration
For business processes that generate a competitive edge, enterprises will prefer custom mobile apps rather than “off the shelf” apps or modules from an enterprise software provider. These custom applications require integration with back-end legacy systems. A sensible, re-usable approach to system integration will help ensure that the overhead of each mobile application is minimized, helping IT departments meet business units’ voracious appetite for mobile apps while minimising resources and required skills.
5. New level of Customer Engagement
With a focus on leveraging IT assets to improve the bottom line, CRM will become fully integrated with marketing campaigns for better customer engagement. In 2016, customer relationship management systems will go will go far beyond storing information about sales interactions by creating messages, compiling target lists, automating distribution schedules, capturing replies and inquiries, routing them to the right sales person, tracking the sale opportunity, recording the successful sales event and calculating the campaign ROI. By tracking every touch point with the customer and then aggregating, analysing and leveraging this information, personalized campaigns will be created, launched and tracked to boost sales effectiveness.
In 2016, CIOs will continue to drive business-transformation projects. Often asked to do more with the same or less money, CIOs should look for reusable platforms that bring real business value by supporting business requirements and enabling innovation while optimising utilisation of resources.
Stephan Romeder is General Manager of Magic Software Europe