CIOs seeking to influence their organizations in 2022 will double automation and actionable intelligence. They will also continue to rely heavily on cloud and collaboration tools, two IT priorities that have been at the forefront of tackling the pandemic over the past 21 months.
That’s according to recent interviews with CIOs regarding their strategic priorities for the year ahead, as well as a survey of 800 CIOs and CEOs from KPMG, which ranks artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT) and robotic process automation (RPA) as the top three technologies. Transformative will be published over the next three years.
Sheila Jordan of Honeywell is a leading IT company keen on AI, which it sees as a driver of value creation from a broad range of enterprise business applications.
“I renamed Actionable Insights because that’s what AI really means,” says Jordan, Honeywell’s chief digital officer. “The thing that holds it all together is data, which is the currency of digital transformation and how that data flows through all the different transactional applications. to create new experiences.”
And with the practical value of AI and analytics rooted in the volume and quality of data collected in the enterprise, IT leaders will closely attend to data operations in the coming year.
“As CIO, you have to be incredibly close to data and leverage data in more impactful ways than ever before,” said Eric Johnson, Executive Vice President and CIO at Momentive.ai, formerly SurveyMonkey. “As we look to 2022, CIOs need to double the data. As the CIO, you have to be incredibly close to the business and very familiar with how this data impacts the business.”
This focus on data and actionable intelligence cuts to the core of what will be most important to CIOs over the next three years — market growth and customer retention — unlike metrics of the past — cost reduction and efficiency. It also makes IT and the CIO central to the company’s core mission: making money.
“It’s about driving revenue, driving expansion, driving adoption, reducing disruption, like all of the things that drive company growth,” Johnson says. And it’s not growth like, ‘Hey, let’s build new infrastructure. “It’s real dollars that show up.”
Intelligent Automation Project
Many emerging technologies — notably artificial intelligence, robotic process automation and advanced cloud technologies — will be increasingly deployed to analyze, improve, gain insights and automate the vast amount of data collected in the cloud over the past four years, explains Mark Gibson, National Technology Sector Leader and Media and Communications at KPMG US. He says nearly 70% of the world’s data was generated in the past 18 months.
“This development is now emerging in data science and machine learning technology and people who are not data scientists now can quickly take advantage of this technology to look for correlations and look for cues in data that they have never found before,” he says.
Robotic process automation is another area of increasing interest from CIOs. Beyond simple help desk tasks, RPA tools that take advantage of natural language processing can help IT automate more critical business processes such as accounts payable and accounts receivable — freeing business analysts to get more insights from customer data. And CIOs are increasingly operating these bots.
“When you enter 2022, it will become a standard part of your portfolio,” Johnson says.
Accenture CIO Penelope Prett sees technologies like AI and RPA also transforming workplace culture, spurring significant investment in workforce training.
“Smart technologies — including analytics, artificial intelligence, and robotics — are reshaping the future of work, automating routine tasks and creating new types of human-machine interaction,” says Penelope Brett, Accenture CIO. “To stay competitive and prepare for the future, companies must hone their technical talent quickly and across the enterprise.”
For some organizations, the push for a combination of intelligence and machine insights is also rooted in emerging IoT strategies.
For example, Land O’Lakes deploys sensors in manufacturing facilities and uses computer vision devices to monitor herds, average each animal’s weight, and determine if the feeding ratio is correct.
“It’s a very exciting technology that is still in its very early stages,” said Teddy Bekele, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Land O Lakes, at a recent conference in Boston. “Again, you have to combine it with sensors and predictive models. But it all started to come together.”
KPMG’s Gibson sees this combination of IoT and key AI going forward. “When I think of the Internet of Things, I think of devices, sensors, and things that get unstructured data on customers and processes to be input into AI and data learning,” he says. “It’s hard to talk about [IoT] As something separate from artificial intelligence and data analysis.”
Cloud and collaboration remain our top priority
CIOs will also continue to ramp up their cloud efforts in the coming year. The cloud is at the core of any digital transformation, but many organizations are still lagging behind in deploying a modern cloud that is tuned for business impact.
Warner Music Group
“The cloud is very one generation and it still has a long way to go,” says Ralph Monsen, chief technology officer of Warner Music Group, noting that the three largest public cloud providers are constantly competing with new features and functionality. The WMG DevOps cloud team is in place to “take our workloads in the cloud and reconfigure them to use new tools and features as they become available,” he said. “The more you give, the more complex.”
Monsen says data interoperability between cloud service providers will be a key need going forward. “We all share data with each other, right? How can these clouds help facilitate that automatically?”
Another major IT strategy to beat the pandemic, collaboration technology, will continue to shine in 2022, as most CIOs acknowledge that the hybrid workforce is here to stay. Popular tools like Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace, Zoom and other video collaboration tools are being optimized to virtually transform how remote employees interact and how office workers collaborate with remote workers, and CIOs will surely take advantage of these tools as they prepare for a long-term hybrid organization.
Eye on emerging technology
Five emerging technologies — 5G, blockchain, digital payments, quantum computing, and robotics — are still in the very early stages of enterprise acceptance and trial, but all of them will have a transformative impact on business over the next three years, according to KPMG. As such, many CEOs chasing after the horizon will ramp up pilots in these areas, if they haven’t already.
Master Card Credit Card
The massive broadband speeds of 5G should revolutionize business and consumer computing when it is fully deployed, but technical issues as well as safety, security and availability continue to delay its full deployment.
Ed McLaughlin, Head of Operations and Technology at Mastercard, pumps about the capabilities of 5G in the enterprise.
“Although we don’t know how 5G technology will affect every industry, we do know that flexibility, speed, low latency, enhanced security, and the Internet of Things all come first,” McLaughlin says. “5G is creating a new generation of connectivity that will have a deeper impact than we’ve seen in the past, which is why Mastercard is investing in multi-rail digital payment platforms so we can build and run anything, anywhere.”
CEOs are also wrestling with ways to make the most of blockchain technologies, as well as crypto and non-fungible (NFG) digital assets for buying, selling, and e-commerce applications in industries where these technologies can have an impact. KPMG’s Gibson sees these digital payment systems increasingly integrated into institutional commerce by 2024.
Even quantum computing, which some still claim is decades away, has been cited by CIOs as potentially impacting businesses more quickly than some anticipate.
Discover Financial Services
The recent merger between Honeywell Quantum Solutions and Cambridge Quantum Computing to form Quantinuum saw the launch this month of a commercial cybersecurity product called Origin. Fujitsu is one company that has integrated Quantum Origin into its SD-WAN configuration to give its customers quantum-optimized encryption keys to protect their data.
CFO Amir Aroni has also discovered Eye on Quantum as his company works to improve its services.
“We are applying workloads to purpose-built technologies such as GPUs and AI chips to improve our capabilities,” says Arooni. “Quantum has the potential to be very useful in potential use cases like fraud, financial modeling, and customer preference analysis, which are really complex issues that are part of our day-to-day operations.”