CIOs are preparing an assembly line of technologies to return to action in 2022, including a mix of pandemic-driven solutions and new offerings aimed at making the most of emerging opportunities as the pandemic recedes.

At this week’s Virtual IT/Xpo Symposium, Gartner outlined the best technology strategies it sees CIOs adopting in the coming year, including “distributed enterprise,” advanced AI, hyper-automation, cloud platforms, decision intelligence, advanced security, Among other things.

Linking these trends together is C-suite’s continued recognition of IT as a driver of business transformation.

“The two most important business priorities for CIOs in 2022 are scaling digital and building e-commerce, with the goal of getting back into business,” said David Grumbridge, vice president of research at Gartner, noting that CIOs’ priorities will differ depending on whether they are costly as they increase. Consumer revenue or construction products.

But the analyst expects that all CIOs will have a common set of technology priorities.

“CIOs tasked with delivering digitization at a rapid pace to meet the demands of CEOs must ensure that they have the technical foundations to grow and expand rapidly, while addressing the new reality of hybrid business. This will make cloud-native platforms, network cybersecurity, and the distributed enterprise key directions to deal with in some form. as soon as possible,” Grumbridge told CIO.com.

Advance (and secure) work

Gartner’s “Distributed Enterprise” consists of the list of technologies CIOs have relied on to support distributed teams during an epidemic and the new operating models they are developing to facilitate hybrid work as the epidemic subsides. Examples include cloud-enabled workspaces, collaboration and monitoring tools for a mixed workforce, new remote support offerings, and trustless security models. The company predicts that 47% of knowledge workers will work remotely in 2022, up from 27% before the pandemic, a sure sign that for most organizations, hybrid working is here to stay.

Gartner says CIOs will also be key players in building new business models, both physical and virtual, to “reconnect” with location-independent consumers, particularly in the hospitality, retail, healthcare and financial services sectors.

To do this, Gartner sees CIOs investing in “generative” AI methods and standardizing AI engineering practices. This means bypassing chatbots to implement advanced machine learning methods that “learn” about content from data, generating code, managing retail inventory, automating employee training, optimizing manufacturing, and controlling traffic pattern recognition.

Many CIOs no longer view AI as experimental, and will invest next year as part of a concerted effort to standardize their AI engineering practices for business value. By 2025, Gartner predicts that 10% of companies that adopt these practices will see three times more value than the remaining 90% of companies that do not codify their approach to AI.

“Many of these [AI] “The technologies are much more advanced than many companies realize,” Grumbridge told CIO.com. “Even if maturity has not yet been demonstrated, companies are prepared to take greater risks than before.”

Gartner asserts that autonomic systems and excessive automation will be other top priorities. While it’s true that some of this is caused by the pandemic, these updates have been on the drawing board for quite some time. Working conditions simply increased urgency.

For example, CIOs will invest heavily to develop autonomic systems that are scalable, self-managing and even able to modify algorithms to adapt to rapidly changing conditions. Gartner predicts that such unmanned systems now common in high-level security infrastructures last year will be integrated into manufacturing and systems such as robots and drones next year.

Gartner anticipates that advanced security technologies such as Privacy Enhancement Computing (PEC), also known as Consumer Data Loss Prevention, and “Cyber ​​Security Network” adoption will be key components of other technical measures. Up to 60% of large organizations will use PEC technologies, such as Trusted Execution Environments, by 2025, according to Gartner. The company expects that its Cyber ​​Security Network Architectures (CSMA), which aims to extend security controls to assets distributed outside enterprise walls, will reduce the cost of security incidents by 90% by 2024.

Improve the digital experience

The coming year will see CIOs in their efforts to define and automate as many business processes and business decisions as possible. Nearly a third of the companies surveyed by Gartner expect that they will improve their decision-making efficiency by evaluating outcomes and creating structured models.

Stacey Goodman, CIO at Prudential Financial, agrees that widespread adoption of automation will make companies smarter for a new era in business computing.

Stacy Goodman, Chief Information Officer, Prudential Financial prudent finance

Stacy Goodman, Chief Information Officer, Prudential Financial

“Excessive automation is a critical component of how Prudential companies implement their technology transformations,” Goodman told CIO.com. “[We] Focused on a seamless customer experience, even when it means redefining industry practices rather than automating existing processes.”

CIOs are also adopting automation strategies such as automated process automation (RPA) to increase workforce productivity.

“More CIOS are turning to robotic process automation to eliminate tedious tasks, allowing corporate workers to focus on higher-value businesses,” said Ted Densmore, president of SphereGen Technologies, who is currently working with 28 CIO clients to build AI solutions. “With a global labor shortage, particularly in technology, RPA will be one of the main tools CIOs turn to.”

Cloud and data strategies will continue to be the cornerstone of IT in 2022 as well. Gartner sees organizations moving into data fabrics and creating new services specifically for the cloud, rather than simply migrating existing applications to cloud platforms.

“Companies have been switching to the cloud for a few years, but the pandemic has accelerated this,” Grumbridge said. “Acceleration has weakened the ‘lift and shift’ of legacy apps to the cloud.”

Data fabrics, which integrate data and application silos with embedded analytics, will be deployed more frequently in 2022. The research firm predicts that doing so will improve data usage by distributed organizations while reducing data management efforts by up to 70%.

Excessive automation, improved data access, cloud-native applications, and increased use of artificial intelligence are all part of a trend to improve what Gartner calls the “total experience” (TX), aka the digital experience for both customers and employees.

Nicholas Evans, chief innovation officer for WGI, says the design and professional services firm relies on a suite of strategic technologies, including artificial intelligence, analytics, and digital twins, to support TX’s efforts for clients in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry.

“We are particularly interested in driving the envelope in terms of hyper-automation as well as business-as-a-service and platform-based models with a focus on collaborative co-innovation with our customers,” he said.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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