Sixth annual Deloitte Tech Trends report Identifies top technology trends

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Sixth annual Deloitte Tech Trends report Identifies top technology trends

CIOs and executives need to know to fuel enterprise innovation

Published: 5 March 2015

Deloitte released the sixth annual report “Tech Trends 2015 – The Fusion of Business and IT ” outlining the top technology forces with the potential to reshape business models, reimagine customer engagement, and change how work gets done.    

Across the private and public sectors, business strategy is being transformed by the rapidly changing technology landscape. CIOs and technology professionals have an opportunity to vet, prioritize and invest in fast-paced technology developments. Deloitte’s “Tech Trends 2015” report examines how some of the biggest macro technology forces — digital, analytics, cloud, the renaissance of core systems, cyber security, and the changing role of IT within the enterprise — are enabling historic advancements in business, government, and society. It also examines how they are fueling breakthroughs in materials science, medical science, artificial intelligence, and other exponentially changing domains.   

“Our report looks at the remarkable rate of IT change and provides an insider’s view of what is happening today and anticipated in the next 18-24 months — across industries, geographies, and company sizes. It encourages IT executives to be the catalyst of change for emerging technologies — helping the business understand the ‘what,’ the ‘so what,’ and the ‘now what.’ Inspiring tomorrow, but also plotting a path to get there deliberately and responsibly from the realities of today,” said Bill Briggs, chief technology officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and author of the annual research.

This year’s theme, “The Fusion of Business and IT,” is broadly inspired by a fundamental transformation in the way business C-suite leaders and CIOs collaborate to harness disruptive change, chart business strategy, and pursue transformative opportunities. Whether it is a manufacturer looking at printing replacement parts on demand, or finding ways in the health care industry to harness artificial intelligence to improve cancer diagnosis and treatments, the confluence of business, technology, and science is being seen and felt across all markets and industries.

The report offers “Lessons from the Front Lines” highlighting examples of organizations putting the trends to work. It also features a “My Take” section for each trend in which business executive, academic, and industry luminaries share their perspective. In recognition of the increasing importance of cyber security in today’s global world, a “Cyber Implications” section has been added within each chapter which explores potential security and privacy considerations for each trend.

Sample trends from “The Fusion of Business and IT” include:

  • Ambient Computing Ambient computing is the backdrop of sensors, devices, intelligence, and agents that can put the Internet of Things to work. Possibilities abound from the tremendous growth of embedded sensors and connected devices — in the home, the enterprise, and the world at large. Translating these possibilities into business impact requires focus — purposefully bringing smarter “things” together with analytics, security, data, and integration platforms to make the disparate parts work with each other.
  • CIO as Chief Integration Officer As technology transforms existing business models and gives rise to new ones, the role of CIO is evolving rapidly, with integration at the core of its mission. Increasingly, CIOs need to harness emerging, disruptive technologies for the business, while balancing future needs with today’s operational realities. They should view their responsibilities through an enterprise-wide lens, helping ensure critical domains like digital, analytics, and cloud aren’t spurring redundant, conflicting, or compromised investments within departmental or functional silos. In this shifting landscape of opportunities and challenges, CIOs can be not only the connective tissue, but the driving force for intersecting, IT-heavy initiatives. 
  • Dimensional MarketingMarketing has evolved significantly in the last half-decade. The evolution of digitally-connected customers lies at the core, reflecting the dramatic change in the dynamic between relationships and transactions. A new vision for 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. This modern era for marketing is likely to bring new challenges in the dimensions of customer engagement, connectivity, data, and insight.
  • IT Worker of the FutureScarcity of technical talent is a significant concern across many industries, with some organizations facing talent gaps along multiple fronts. There are also unprecedented needs for new and different skill sets, including creative design, user experience engineering, and other disciplines grounded in the arts. To tackle these challenges, companies will have to nurture a new kind of employee—the IT worker of the future—who possesses habits, incentives, and skills that differ from those in play today.  They will also need to develop new techniques for organizing, delivering, and evolving the IT mission.

Other trends include API economy, software-defined everything, core renaissance, and amplified intelligence. The full report can be accessed online.

“In many ways, the situation in China resembles of some of the trends laid down by the report. For instance, with over 600 million internet users and 527 million mobile internet users, China has seen a significant change in business to consumer relationship and transactions. A recent Deloitte report also indicated the shift of retail sales from physical to electronic channels and companies would now need to adopt a hybrid of online and offline approaches to elevate the customer experience,” said Stanley Dai, Technology Service Leader of Deloitte Consulting China, adding that talent shortage is also a critical problem for the industry in China.

In collaboration with Singularity University, the report includes a section dedicated to six exponential technologies — innovative disciplines evolving faster than the pace of Moore’s Law, whose impact may be profound: artificial intelligence, robotics, additive manufacturing, quantum computing, industrial biology, and cybersecurity.

Briggs added, “The report examines tech advances not for technology’s sake, but offers a look at how advancements in IT can significantly impact businesses, government agencies, and potentially even society. A healthy skepticism towards ‘shiny object syndrome’ is required giving the pace and magnitude of change. Tech Trends 2015 looks to short-circuit hype cycles, including real-world examples of the trend in action and a prescriptive section covering ‘where do you start.’ Over the coming months, CIOs and executives will have the opportunities to learn more about these trends, develop a response plan, and prepare for what’s next.”

For additional information, access the full report.

(Traditional Chinese version)

About Deloitte Tech Trends

Deloitte’s annual “Tech Trends” report identifies the trends most likely to have an impact for CIOs in the coming year and beyond. Now in its sixth consecutive year, the trends are based on: feedback from client executives on current and future priorities, perspectives from industry and academic luminaries, research by technology alliances, industry analysts, competitor positioning, and crowdsourced ideas, and examples from our global network of practitioners. A digital copy of this year’s complete report is available at Tech Trends 2015.

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