Being in the know for digital trends and what to look out in 2017 can help CIOs push their organisations ahead of their competitors, improving the overall efficiency of their businesses. Cloud, IoT and machine learning are just some of the digital technologies CIOs are embracing and looking to develop within their organisations to attract customers, increase staff productivity and meet business objectives.
CIO UK looks at key industry trends to look for in 2017 with comments from seven leading executives and digital experts. (See also: What technologies are making a CIO's workload easier?)
"Certainly for the NHS it is all about going digital and being able to share data across organisations, so you can get the best possible experience for the patient. For too long we have operated in silos and it has been a very disjointed experience for the patient but I think across all agencies it is about how we use digital and how we embrace digital, and it’s going to change all our necessaries and it definitely needs to."
Mike Large, Central and North West London NHS Director of IT
"I think most people are working with using and leveraging cloud. As cloud services are maturing at a significant rate, cloud has an opportunity to provide a platform which can have resilience and scalability with a competitive cost base. The cloud cannot yet guarantee the same levels of performance also including the sensitivity of the data and complexity of the application it’s a digital trend which needs to be experimented with because it is not a simple one size fits all approach."
Dr David Cooper, Centrica CIO
"I think for me from a CIO’s point of view it’s actually not so much about technology. The technology is great with there being loads of new and innovative ways you can do things but probably the most important thing a CIO can do is to be thinking about how can they help to support the changing mind-set of the organisation. How can we get the different people in the business functions much more connected with what’s going on in the world from a technology point of view and how can that be applied to their business."
Nick Burton, Belron Head of IT
"The obvious technology trends are growing on top are social, mobile, cloud and IoT so there is a lot of technological things but I think there are more trends to do with the CIO and how the CIO becomes more of a business leader in their organisation. It is someone who is actually driving the digital agenda within their organisation, so on top of all the technology, there are some relationship trends they need to think about as well."
Ian Cox (adviser to boards and CIOs, author of ‘Digital Uncovered’ and ‘Disrupt IT’)
"Digital businesses will continue the trend to genuinely focus on customer/end user’s needs. Cloud is a game changer, as potential beyond hosting is realised, we are likely to see transformation of traditional business models. Machine learning has made AI affordable and practical for all businesses and promises genuine insights.
"While IoT has the ability of connecting practically anything and everything, who knows where this will disrupt next? The increasing skill shortage of how to source the right mix of people and partners to help deliver digital services."
Alan Crawford, City & Guilds CIO
"I think we are seeing an increase of personalisation. I think most of our users are conscious of the fact that in their private lives they see almost everything delivered to them personally with a personal slant on it because of enterprises they typically say this is the information you need for an employee or in a role and it’s not necessarily personalised. We are going to have to move towards a more personalised delivery of information and decision support."
Mike Russell, Imperial College CIO
"Generally, people are much happier in using more tools and exploring ways for those to be exploited. I think the IT management world and CIO world are still struggling to keep up with that. I think that is also being cloaked a lot in discussion with millennials in particular, there seems to be this idea that only young people know how to use technology and that is passively nonsense now and I think organisations need to look at how organisations need to use technology and learn from it rather than seeing the stress and too much of how we use technology out of work and seeing as a threat to the way we use main technology within work."
Matt Ballantine, CIO UK columnist