Every day new technologies emerge that empower businesses to cut costs and discover new operational efficiencies. Businesses can either embrace the transformative change these technologies bring, or risk falling behind their competitors.
When it comes to this change, chief innovation officers (CIOs) are in the driver’s seat. Today’s CIOs are experiencing a significant increase in their roles and responsibilities, shifting from day-to-day management of innovation activities to full-scale digital transformation initiatives. CIOs are becoming digital transformation leaders, platform builders and business revenue drivers as they work to create entirely new business models through the deployment of new tools and solutions.
To increase their bottom line before their competitors do, CIOs need a battle plan. These five technologies represent some the best resources available for CIOs as they formulate it.
1. Enterprise mobility
Increasing the mobility of workers by giving them real-time access to dynamic data and content via their mobile devices is empowering them to perform better, faster and more cost-effectively. It improves both internal and external collaboration, allowing workers to solve problems, make sales and decisions, and communicate more smoothly and seamlessly with customers, partners and staff whilst on the move. It also saves on paperwork and costly administrative delays. Many of the leading innovations expected to make transformative efficiency and productivity changes to businesses over the next few years are built on a mobile framework. Mobile development initiatives are crucial, therefore, to a CIO’s battle plan.
In the race to increase profitability, analytics is the most important resource a business can have and should be central to a CIO’s priorities. It gives businesses visibility of what’s working and what’s not so that areas of optimisation can be identified. Analytics can be software or cloud services that look at customer behaviours and buying habits, sales figures, expenditure, worker performance, customer satisfaction etc. in order to drive decisions on future revenue growth and profitability.
3. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
No longer a far-fetched futuristic concept, AI is improving forecasting and decision-making capabilities, streamlining business operations and personalising customer experiences. By being able to quickly solve specific and complex problems at the enterprise level, AI is reducing reliance on human resource and eliminating errors and delays associated with human intervention. This makes it an essential tool for CIOs.
4. Internet of Things (IoT)
The past few years have seen an explosion of growth across the Internet of Things and in 2019, 86% of enterprises are set to increase their IoT spend. Interconnected devices in a business environment drive improved efficiency and productivity, as well as the kind of tech-driven unity and collaboration that underpins digital transformation. IoT solutions also provide access to unprecedented volumes of data, bringing new, powerful insights into how a business is performing. CIOs would do well to get ahead of the curve and make IoT a key component of their battle plan.
5. Collaboration Tools
Fast, effective collaboration is probably the most fundamental element of digital transformation. CIOs should look at investing in on-premise, cloud or hybrid apps that empower employees and customers to interact and work together more easily and seamlessly. These essential tools for smooth and profitable operations help close sales, speed decision-making, answer customer and employee questions and save time, travel and meeting costs.
Making operations faster, slicker and more flexible through digital transformation has become central to a CIO’s role. Since enterprise mobility, analytics, AI, IoT and collaboration tools are the technologies that drive digital transformation, budgets and investment plans need to accommodate them. It is likely that innovation in other areas will take a back seat until businesses have adapted their business models to the new, digital landscape. Only then will they have a workplace — and workforce — that is ready to compete.