Top 10 trends to help elevate information technology for digital business

The unique convergence of five emerging technology forces – analytics, mobility, social, cloud and cyber security – provide the opportunity for businesses to accelerate performance in 2012, according to Deloitte's Tech Trends report, Elevate IT for Digital Business.

“It’s an uncommon time to have so many emerging forces – all rapidly evolving, technology-centric and each already impacting business so strongly,” said Harry Goddard, Partner, Consulting, Deloitte.

 “The convergence of these forces offers a new set of tools, opening the door to a new set of rules for operations, performance and competition.
“In our recent survey of Irish CIOs, we observed that CIOs are still struggling to do more for less with the result that IT/business alignment was suffering. Meanwhile, CIOs were not fully leveraging the disruptive technologies that can ‘change the game’. The intersection of mobile, social, analytics and cloud represents a significant opportunity for new business technology value and innovation and we believe the big prizes will be won by organisations that successfully combine these complementary technologies.”
The Deloitte report identifies the top 10 technology trends that will have the most potential to impact businesses over the next 18-24 months, grouping the trends into two categories: Disruptors and Enablers.
 Disruptors – social business, gamification, enterprise mobility unleashed, user empowerment and hyper-hybrid Cloud – are technologies that can create sustainable positive disruption in IT capabilities, business operations and sometimes even business models. 
Enablers – big data goes to work, geospatial visualisation, digital identities, measured innovation and outside-in architecture.
“Forward-thinking organisations should consider developing an explicit strategy in each of the areas outlined in this report – even if that strategy is to wait-and-see,” said Goddard.  “Organisations must innovate to stay ahead, and CIOs are in the driving seat to redefine the role that IT plays within an organisation. This report is essential reading for Irish CIOs.”
Examples of trends identified in the report, and the impact for Irish CIOs, include:
Social business and gamification
Digital organisations understand that the generation of the digital native has arrived. A new generation of workers and customers, raised, under the influence of video games and consumer technology has dramatically changed our expectation of IT. Nowhere in Europe is this more pronounced than Ireland, home to some of the world’s leading social businesses including Google, Facebook and LinkedIn. Our digital generation expect accessibility to services, work or social relationships to be always on, ubiquitous and without borders. A challenge for Irish CIOs is how they respond to this market in a landscape where opportunity and competition is both local and global.
Enterprise mobility unleashed
Consumer location as an inhibitor to business is largely obsolete. In response to this, a range of ‘apps’ has appeared from Irish organisations as they start to capitalise on the disruptive force of mobility.  Yet, with only 22% of organisations who participated in the Deloitte Ireland CIO Survey last year having developed consumer applications, there is still room for Irish organisations to benefit from enterprise mobility. The digital market place is not going away, and neither are competitors.

Big data goes to work and geospatial visualisation
A net effect of new technologies and the arrival of the digital native is the explosion of big data. Architectures and technology stacks now exist to analyse this data. However, knowing how to interpret “the noise” remains a significant challenge. The key for business is to know what they are looking for so that they achieve their goal of becoming empowered information users and do not fall into the trap of becoming big data librarians.

Advances in data visualisation tools have eroded many of the traditional cost and skill barriers to adopting analytics. It is now very achievable for Irish business of any scale to combine big data, geo data and enterprise data into visualisation mash-ups on the desktop using tools like Google Maps and IDV.


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