2017 - What can we expect and what should we make happen?
2017 - What can we expect and what should we make happen?
A new year is upon us and together with 2017 we welcome the new step in the digital transformation journey.
What does it mean for you and your organization? Well, if 2016 was the year digital transformation took hold and became mainstream, its value and importance to organizations now established, 2017 will see digital transformation drive businesses forward and help workers be more effective, productive and happy in their more flexible ways of working. The ground work has clearly been done; at the recent Gartner ITXpo event in Barcelona it was reported that 90 per cent of large enterprises are at least part way along digital business initiatives. Now comes the next step.
Putting the building blocks in place
Having laid the foundations, companies now need to look to put all the right building blocks in place. And that means platforms. Digital platforms give organizations the capabilities they need to intelligently connect up all the elements of IoT; things, customers, ecosystems, and more.
And it is ecosystems that are going to be central to success in 2017 – because IT systems are no longer the walled gardens they once were. Today they inhabit places both inside and outside an organization, and so the digital platform needs to operate along a similar philosophy; your ecosystem no longer just comprises traditional IT systems, so your platform needs to encompass customer experience, business intelligence, partners, supplier relationships, competitor analysis – in effect your digital platform is set to become your business’s ‘societal’ infrastructure.
I am quite certain that ecosystems will become fundamental to business success, and that the way every organization interacts in the digital world will be informed by how well it manages its ecosystem. When I say it will become a business’s societal infrastructure, by that I mean it will be the hub of all innovation and productivity for not just the business itself but for all the members of the ecosystem. Everybody interacts, everybody participates, everybody benefits. And the more utilized and successful the ecosystem is, the faster it grows; if you are a high-performing organization and your ecosystem is thriving, more and more digital partners will want to join it.
Cloud fully mainstream, IoT flourishing
One particular stat that grabbed my attention at Gartner ITXpo was about cloud. 58 per cent of organizations are now well along the road to using cloud to support their business. Gartner has previously stated its belief that by 2020 a corporate ‘no cloud’ policy will be as rare as a ‘no internet’ policy is today, and it is something with which I thoroughly agree; businesses that embrace the cloud and leverage its smarts succeed. Those that remain unconvinced will certainly fall behind.
Internet of Things (IoT) is also taking its place in the mainstream in 2017. Plans have been in place for some time now, smart cities projects are springing up all over the world, the connected/driverless car is now a reality – IoT is suddenly everywhere without any real fanfare or formal ‘launch’. There are still wrinkles to be ironed out in 2017, with privacy, security and consistency of services still to be sufficiently addressed, but IoT is already definitely making its presence and benefits felt.
Gartner predicts that by 2020 there will be over 21 billion connected sensors and endpoints, all monitoring our habits and practices to help us enjoy greater convenience, more efficiencies and enhanced urban living. These sensors and endpoints will generate vast amounts of data to be analyzed and used to improve products, services, work and living.
However, even with all this growth, organizations will not fully reap the benefits of IoT unless they have the right platform in place to help them. Data analytics are going to become more and more vital to making use of all the data that will be generated if companies are to extract that value – and all the signs are that the data analytics market is set to explode. IDC has already forecast that global revenues for big data and business analytics will grow from around $122 billion in 2015 to $187 billion in 2019, while Gartner believes that real-time analytics will outpace traditional analytics by a factor of three by 2020, to grab 30 per cent of the market.
The rise of Bimodal IT and its importance to the ecosystem
Bimodal IT is another area that will be big news in 2017. The marriage of traditional stability and agile innovation allows companies to keep daily operations up and running while investing time and resources in new products and services – but bimodal IT is also central to creating an organization that is ready to make the next step towards a digital ecosystem. In Gartner’s 2017 CIO Agenda Survey, 43 per cent of respondents said that they are already operating a bimodal model, while at ITXpo, it was reported that 85 per cent of organizations have already started or have plans to kick off a tactical bimodal project.
Digital will continue to dominate
Ultimately, 2017 will continue to be all about digital transformation and how organizations will use digital to come up with new, innovative products and services, drive new revenues and make work environments more collaborative, productive places.
But it’s about making the right decisions. 60 per cent of transformation projects will not scale successfully due to lack of strategic architecture. So we need to think human touchpoints, we need to think digital inside, digital outside and digital enablement. And we absolutely need to underpin every project with smart, strategic cybersecurity initiatives - something that I will write further about in forthcoming articles. 2017 – onwards and upwards with digital!
This article first appeared on LinkedIn here.