Tech Trends 2016
Innovating in the digital era
Examine blockchain, augmented and virtual reality, autonomic platforms and right-speed IT implications for CIOs in Deloitte's annual Tech Trends report.
Our annual Technology Trends report examines the ever-evolving technology landscape put to business use. These trends have the potential to disrupt the way businesses engage their customers, how work gets done and how markets and industries evolved. They also offer CIOs the opportunity to shape tomorrow, to inspire, to create and to transform ‘business as usual’.
The 2016 report identifies eight trends that reflect macro forces fuelling innovation: digital, analytics, cloud, the renaissance of core systems, and the changing role of IT within the enterprise, balanced with the implications of cyber risk—security, compliance, regulatory and compliance, quality, and safety.
Blockchain: Democratised trust
Trust is a foundational element of business. Yet maintaining it – particularly throughout a global economy that is becoming increasingly digital – is expensive, time consuming, and in many cases inefficient. Some organisations are exploring how blockchain, the backbone behind bitcoin, might provide a viable alternative to the current procedural, organisational, and technological infrastructure required to create institutionalised trust. Though these exploratory efforts are still nascent, payoff could be profound. Like the Internet before it, blockchain could potentially impact communications – and more specifically, transactions and contracts – in a way that ultimately transforms the underpinnings of business, government, and society.
Forward-thinking CIOs are progressing beyond the traditional single speed delivery models that are good for high-torque enterprise IT but not high-speed innovation IT. What’s more, those that have needs at both ends of the spectrum are finding that bridging the gap is difficult. And, they are finding that a 2-speed transmission isn’t sufficient to the realities of business need. These CIOs are building capabilities that link the two edge points, with targeted investments in process, technology, and talent to reengineer the business of IT – enabling delivery at a speed that’s right for the need.
Augmented & virtual reality go to work
The future of mobile is tilting increasingly toward wearables, especially as augmented reality and virtual reality solutions hit the market. Long the objects of sci-fi fascination, the looming potential of AR and VR technologies lies in the enterprise with capabilities that could potentially reshape how work gets done, or fundamentally recast customer experiences. While the customer world waits for the dominant AR and VR players to emerge, the enterprise can fast track adoption – and begin the process of fundamentally reimaging how work gets done.
Internet of Things: From sensing to doing
Increasingly, forward-thinking organizations are focusing their Internet of Things initiatives less on underlying sensors, devices, and “smart” things and more on developing bold approaches for managing data, orchestrating events, and extending IT systems and processes beyond traditional limits. In shifting IoT’s strategic focus this way – beyond mere sensing and passive reporting, to actually doing – companies are identifying new opportunities in automation, signal analysis, and robotics, among other areas.
Reimagining core systems
Core systems that drive back, mid, and front offices are often decades old, comprising everything from the custom systems built to run the financial services industry in the 1970s to the ERP reengineering wave of the 1990s. Today, many roads to digital innovation lead through these “heart of the business” applications. For this reason, organisations are now developing strategies for reimaging their core systems that involve re-platforming, modernising, and revitalising them. Transforming the bedrock of the IT footprint to be agile, intuitive, and responsive can help meet business needs today, while laying the foundation for tomorrow.
IT may soon become a self-managing service provider without technical limitations of capacity, performance, and scale. By adopting a “build once, deploy anywhere” approach, retooled IT workforces – working with new architectures built upon virtualised assets, containers, and advanced management and monitoring tools – could seamlessly move workloads among traditional on-premises stacks, private cloud platforms, and public cloud services.
Data is a foundational component of digital transformation. Yet few organisations have invested in the dedicated talent, platforms, and processes needed to turn information into insights. To realise data’s full potential, some businesses are adopting new governance approaches, multi-tiered data usage and management models, and innovative delivery methods to enable repeatable results and scale. Indeed, they are treating data analysis as a strategic discipline and investing in industrial-grade analytics.
Social impact of exponential technologies
As strategic discussions increasingly focus on how business can evolve and capitalise on new innovation, it is important to recognise the enhanced role companies should play in the responsible use of disruptive technologies. Their challenge will be finding ways to design and architect models for driving transformative change and positive social impact – both for philanthropic good and for more commercial purposes. Harnessing exponentials for social impact can help build markets, drive adoption, and light a powerful beacon for attracting and retaining top talent. Beyond that, organizations should consider the ethics and morality of applying exponential technologies – beyond traditional risk concerns of security, privacy, regulatory, compliance, safety, and quality.