For many CIOs, COVID-19 made a good argument for the importance of digital transformation. In the early days of the pandemic, CIOs invested a lot into quickly equipping their employees with the digital tools they needed to work remotely. According to the 2020 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey, between April and June CIOs paid an additional 5% of their 2020 budgets, or roughly $15 billion per week, to cover critical technology needs.
With a new year, new challenges are presented. The initial demands from the start of the pandemic have eased, but now CIOs must choose their enterprise tech investments strategically. According to Gartner, global IT spending in 2021 is forecast to reach $3.75 trillion, a reduction of 1.6% from 2019.
ServiceNow asked enterprise technology experts for their thoughts on which strategic investments CIOs should prioritize in 2021 –
Intelligent Process Automation: Companies want the productivity of automated systems coupled with the data-driven decision-making capabilities supplied by machine learning. Integration won’t be an obstacle since it is relatively easy for automation programs to call machine learning APIs. This will also expand the application domains of both AI and automation which will result in broad reengineering of business processes to take advantage of these new capabilities.
Thomas H. Davenport
Distinguished professor, Babson College; senior advisor to Deloitte AI
Low-code API Platforms: With low-code API platforms and their intuitive development capabilities, companies can rapidly assemble best-of-breed services. These services include storage and compute, payment, video integration, and communications. This will accelerate product innovation cycles and reduce enterprise costs drastically, allowing easy integration that even a lightly trained technician can execute.
Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners
Consumerizing the Enterprise Experience: The pandemic has accelerated digitization immensely, most companies have seen years worth of digital transformation happening in months. Cloud and data technologies will be the stepping stones in this evolution. As workforces become more distributed, consumer-grade UI/UX will emerge as table stakes for any successful digital transformation journey. As we head into 2021, companies need to effectively accelerate AI technology investments that will empower both employees and customers to focus on the areas where humans naturally excel; creative thinking, customer interactions, and unpredictable work.
Chief customer and partner officer, ServiceNow
Digital Collaboration Tools: The pandemic has further accentuated the need for effective collaborative work management platforms. As most people continue to operate in a remote office-hybird workspace, digital collaboration tools will be a necessity for team productivity.
Vice president and principal analyst, Forrester Research
Private 5G Networks: Private 5G networks are emerging as a powerful solution for companies with sophisticated networking needs, such as manufacturers, utilities, logistics centers, and business and science campuses. Private 5G offers added security by controlling data moving to and from the cloud. It also allows the integration of cybersecurity protocols and data management and compute tools across the enterprise.
Founder and principal analyst, ZK Research
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