The top five enterprise technologies innovative CIOs are embracing

By Jonathan Crowl

A CIO using enterprise technologies to make business decisions.
Bigstock

Businesses can’t stop innovation from transforming their industry’s landscape. As disruption takes place, organizations either embrace the change or risk falling behind their competition.

Enterprise CIOs often find themselves in the driver’s seat of this change. As they grapple with an influx of enterprise technologies and the transformation they represent, they also recognize that their organizational role is undergoing change.

Today’s CIOs believe their roles will evolve in the next two to three years, shifting away from maintenance and management duties and toward focusing on higher-value activities as a transformational business leader, business revenue driver and digital reinventor. CIOs can anticipate a significant increase to their roles as platform builders as data and new technology are leveraged to implement meaningful digital transformation through the creation of new tools, solutions and business models.

According to our research featured in the C-suite study, 77 percent of organizations we classified as Reinventors — standouts that are exceptionally well aligned — have high revenue growth, compared to just 49 percent of Practitioners and 25 percent of Aspirationals. Thirty-one percent of CIOs reported a high degree of urgency to transform — more than the rest of their C-suite peers.

CIOs may perceive a need to act quickly in part because of the rapid evolution of their responsibilities — including the need to leverage and integrate new technologies before their competitors do. As these leaders prioritize their technology adoption and digital transformation, these five enterprise technologies represent their most urgent areas of need.

1. Mobile technologies and applications

Mobility is a crucial area of development for enterprise organizations. Many of the leading innovations expected to transform business in the coming years are built on a mobile framework. Without this necessary mobile infrastructure — which includes dedicated efforts to build mobile solutions and support app development within a mature, managed mobility network — access to other innovations, including the IoT, will be severely limited.

CIOs should be building executive support for mobile initiatives while building a technology stack capable of supporting mobile development. Many enterprise organizations already have significant investments in mobility, but its value and importance to continued innovation can’t be overstated.

2. Cloud computing

Enterprise organizations need the flexibility and agility offered by cloud computing, freeing up their businesses to support worker productivity and collaboration. But cloud computing also offers critical features like automatic software updates, permissions control, increased data security and superior data recovery services in the event of a disaster. Access to the cloud will benefit all aspects of your organization, from operations to IT security to financial considerations, and it will position your organization to leverage transformative cloud-based solutions.

3. IoT

The IoT has grown exponentially in the enterprise world over the past few years. From the rise of the mobile workforce to the interconnectedness of devices within a business environment, IoT is improving efficiency and productivity in the workplace.

Additionally, IoT solutions offer new data acquisition channels that can be used to drive new, powerful insights into what your business is doing right — and what it could be doing better. The connectedness of IoT is a strong foundation for the kind of tech-driven unity and collaboration organizations are desperate to achieve.

4. Robotic process automation

For organizations seeking to transform at the scale and speed required for enterprise success, it’s critical to implement robotic process automation. RPA offers a growing set of applications for businesses in almost any industry, providing critical automation services that speed up time-sucking, high-volume processes and don’t require the use of employee capital to execute.

By implementing RPA, enterprise organizations can keep their development costs under control. This solution can also be deployed to service desktop, mobile and cloud environments, and the cost savings and increased productivity can lead to quick positive returns on investment.

5. AI/cognitive computing

The push for enterprise disruption and transformation includes the embrace of emerging technologies like AI/cognitive computing: Of those CIOs that are likely to invest in AI/cognitive computing, more than 50 percent want these technologies to enhance forecasting and decision-making capabilities, personalize customer experiences and optimize business processes.

No longer just a futuristic concept, AI is now able to solve specific, complex problems at the enterprise level. Applied AI solutions are hitting the mainstream and flexing their ability to uplift business operations and power smarter decision-making than ever before — making AI a crucial tool for any CIO.

As CIOs incorporate these new technologies into their workplaces, they shouldn’t overlook the need to complement new solutions with proper employee education. Training current talent in emerging technologies and hiring workers with digital skills rank as the top two priorities for CIOs in reaction to the changing digital environment. By implementing new technology innovations and preparing employees to use them properly, CIOs can lead a smooth, streamlined transition to a better way of doing business.

A version of this story was originally published on IBM.com.