In most industries the year-end invariably brings with it a range of reviews of the 12 months past and predictions for the 12 months ahead. The information technology arena is no exception and with Gartner being one of the leading research organisations in the field, when they give their predictions the industry has a tendency to listen.
Last week Gartner gave their predictions for 2014 and beyond, with their report offering plenty to think about for CIO's, IT Leaders and Senior Business Executives. Some of their headlines were:
'By 2017, more than 60 percent of government organisations with a CIO and a chief digital officer will eliminate one of these roles.'
'By 2018, 20 percent of the top 100 manufacturers' revenue will come from innovations that are the result of new cross-industry value experiences.'
'By year-end 2015, inadequate ROI will drive insurers to abandon 40 percent of their current customer-facing mobile apps.'
The former of these statistics is one that I am sure many working in IT will have read with great interest. The role of the CIO is a topic that many have discussed in recent months across wide range of sectors. To give one example, 'The role of the CIO' was the main subject of the 'Charity IT Leaders' group's recent conference event that InterQuest company, IQ Not for Profit, recently sponsored and attended. The subject of the CIO's role was discussed at length, with presentations from IT professionals working across the Third Sector, observing developments and future predictions for the role of the CIO within their sector.
The discussions at the event placed a great deal of emphasis on how an IT Department might be structured by 2020, noting the likelihood of them being scaled back as the emphasis towards data and marketing takes hold in many organisations. One of the most notable recent examples of the CIO's changing position in the current climate have been seen in the Cabinet Office's recent move to 'axe' the role of CIO within their IT board structures as part of their governance 'shake-up'.
This example of the Charity IT Leaders Group's assembling to discuss one of the issues that was revealed weeks later by Gartner as a 'hot topic' for discussion in 2014 typifies the foresight and awareness that a great many IT professionals possess in relation to the developments within their sector.
While it could be noted that some of Gartner's statistics seem to present a somewhat bleak outlook, it could also be argued that given the nature of the IT sector, responses to change and transformation in response to industry developments are not uncommon. IT professionals are invariably among the quickest to respond to industry developments; and it is by this adaptability by that the IT arena can is defined.
Gartner's predictions also highlighted the impact of cloud based computing, one of the most interesting being their stating that 'by 2016, poor return on equity will drive more than 60 percent of banks worldwide to process the majority of their transactions in the cloud'.
No doubt Gartner's predictions do indeed offer plenty to think about and to discuss for those working in all areas of IT, with other predictions in the report offering some fascinating insight to the developments we can expect to see in areas such as e-commerce and other consumer facing technologies; with some big developments in these areas forecast for the coming years.