We're already entering January's fourth week, so what can we expect this year? My predications focus on Government, skills, disruption and data.
I think this year will see Government really trying to understand what Government as a digital platform means and what it means to put the power back into the hands of the citizen. It seems that there is a blurring of the lines between policy and delivery and it think we'll see it becoming slightly more party political. Policy making must take into account policy delivery and it is in this way that we have seen both digital and tech solutions become politicised, as for many enterprises, digital is the preferred means of communication with both citizens and customers alike.
In line with this, I believe we'll also see a shift of understanding by citizens and consumers as they realise that they have to own their personal data. We're seeing individuals increasingly understand the true value of their personal data and in particular that it can be used to drive better deals. In 2016, I think we'll see people expect to manage how their data is used, who uses it and for what purpose.
All of which leads ties into my next prediction; AI in the workplace will grow this year. Like the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence will begin to become a reality in the workplace and wider society in 2016. Both of these innovations are important in themselves but also for the information they will generate and I believe that people will be looking not just for data accumulation but data wisdom.
Companies who understand this are going to have a real advantage, in particular if they can work out how to use collected data to improve people's quality of life through products and services in a way that doesn't make customers want to hide their data or run away!
For the CIO, 2016, is about being really good at bringing technologies that add value, keep them ahead of both the curve and their competitors, into the business. It goes without saying that CIOs and their teams have to be good at fulfilling today's expectations but even better at predicting tomorrows need.
CIOs are the custodians of all the cool stuff, unlocking the market potential of their organisation and driving competitive advantage rather than just keeping the lights on. For example, I've even seen a few CIOs challenge the organisations to 'not buy stuff' – I'm going to be interested to see what that means and where it leads.
There is no doubt that there are going to be some exciting developments in tech itself that have the potential to unlock new ideas and businesses. Innovative business models are changing the way even established players look at their own markets. This is essential; the most innovative of all will be looking at how they can stay ahead of their competitors by disrupting themselves. This is a growing trend for which the demand for capability that sits within organisations will continue to grow and that talent will be ever more in demand. Of those markets, we're seeing the automobile sector take full advantage of tech; Ford is just one example of an organisation that is looking to tech giants to help them forge the next stage in driverless technology, partnering with Amazon to become a potential major player in smart transport.
Some organisations will struggle with these really disruptive business models and they will fall by the wayside. Big traditional organisations in particular could find that 2016 offers them a changing and challenging landscape, and some, that don't truly understand what going digital means, will inevitably fail.
All of this requires skills. We already have a skills deficit and CIOs in 2016 are going to have to look long and hard at how they find the talent they need, keep it and develop it. We need to ensure that there is a strong pipeline of talent coming in to the profession, help organisations continue to develop their talent and ensure that through professionalism people have the skills to deliver the true benefit that technology can bring not only to organisations but society as a whole throughout 2016.