HMG Strategy’s Research Team is committed to tracking the most critical leadership and technology trends that matter most to its members, including the essential leadership progressions that are aimed at helping technology executives in our network strengthen relationships with the C-suite and board of directors and accelerate their career ascent.

2017 Leadership Research Agenda

  1. Courageous Leadership Makes Inroads. Digital disruption. Geo-economic shifts. Regulatory reform. As organizational executives strive to make sense of the ever-evolving business landscape, CIOs and technology executives have a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate courageous leadership with the C-suite and board to drive change.
  2. CIOs Rise Through the C-suite. As enterprise companies transition to digital, all eyes are on the CIO to help connect digital capabilities to business possibilities. This is enabling CIOs to move into other C-suite and board roles as they take on greater operational responsibilities.
  3. CIOs Go on the Offensive to Attract/Recruit/Develop High-Demand Skills. As the war for talent intensifies, savvy CIOs, CISOs, and other technology executives are drawing upon hackathons/gamification, university partnerships, branding that promotes the company’s mission, vision, and values, and other innovative techniques to identify/draw next-gen talent.
  4. Cybersecurity Becomes a Top Priority for the C-suite. Numerous studies reveal that cyber security is a top concern for the C-suite and the board. Involvement in setting cyber strategies will increasingly become a C-suite and board priority for 2017 as the enterprise faces new threats, and as cyber insurance and D&O issues come to the fore, along with the likely push by the public and private sectors for an agreed-upon minimal standards policy. As a result, this will create additional opportunities for CIOs and CISOs to shine and partner with the C-suite and board.
  5. Digital Trailblazers Upend the Market. The digital divide continues to widen. Aggressive companies that are out in front on digital transformation will further separate themselves from the pack and garner increased market share and a competitive edge with customers.
  6. Partnering with the World to Co-op Innovation. Shrewd CIOs, CISOs, and other technology executives continue to make inroads in partnering with the C-suite, line-of-business leaders, technology partners, startups, and venture capitalists to drive innovation and business model disruption. 
  7. Deepening Partnerships with Startups and VCs to Incubate High-Potential Companies. According to research by Deloitte, more than one-third (35%) of technology executives measure the value of innovation in their IT outsourcing relationships. These numbers will continue to rise as CIOs and other technology leaders look to extract as much innovation as possible from start-ups to disrupt existing markets and penetrate new ones.
  8. The Future Workforce and Impact of Automation. As business transformation continues to expand, company leaders are discovering that new skill sets are needed for the business to perform in the digital age. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and other technologies have already begun automating many workplace tasks, further influencing the skills required by hiring managers in the workplace. For instance, AI is expected to become the primary method banks use to interact with customers over the next three years, according to Accenture. As such, CIOs will work more closely with HR executives and functional leaders to determine how this confluence of factors will shape workforce strategies going forward. 

2017 Technology Research Agenda

  1. Savvy CIOs Embrace Digital Platforms. Global spending on digital transformation technology is projected to top $1.2 trillion in 2017, an increase of 17.8% over 2016, according to IDC. More than half of all digital transformation investments this year will be focused on technologies that support operating model innovations. 
  2. Investment in Cybersecurity Tools Continues to Skyrocket. As cyber criminal activities escalate at an unprecedented rate, global spending on cyber tools, including adaptive cyber security solutions to address ever-changing threats, is expected to $1 trillion by 2021, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. 
  3. Companies Extend Their Journeys to The Cloud (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, etc.). As CIOs and other decision-makers continue to recognize the operational and business value of the cloud (e.g. scalability, increased agility, speed to market), enterprises will proceed with expanding the transition of applications and infrastructure activities to public, private, and hybrid cloud environments. For instance, global spending on public cloud services will rise 19.4% on a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to $141 billion by 2019, according to IDC.
  4. DevOps Remains Hot. DevOps is intended to provide greater collaboration and communications between software development and IT operations teams and is intended to replace outdated organizational processes to deliver greater business value through innovative and adaptive software delivery. Case in point: The 2016 State of the DevOps Report reveals that high-performing organizations that utilize DevOps practices deploy 200 times more frequently than their lower-performing counterparts while experiencing 24X faster recovery from failure and minimized downtime.
  5. Enterprise Service Management Brings Modernization to the Enterprise. With business moving at warp speed, companies must identify ways to operate faster and more intelligently. Enterprise Service Management (ESM) enables companies to complete work and deliver services smarter and more efficiently by streamlining workflows and automating processes logically. BusinessWire predicts that the cloud-based IT service management market will expand from $4.41 billion in 2016 to $8.78 billion in 2021.
  6. Hyperconvergence Helps Companies Simplify Operations. Hyperconvergence, a software-centric approach that tightly integrates computing, storage, networking, and virtualized resources, enables IT to run at the speed of business. As a growing number of companies move towards a hyperconverged infrastructure, decision-makers are driven to reduce costs, increase performance, and improve scalability and reliability, according to TechTarget Research.
  7. Taking BI and Analytics to the Next Level. As organizational leaders bear witness to the business value that business intelligence and analytics tools can deliver to the enterprise, companies will extend their investments in dashboards and data visualization tools to enable business and functional leaders to unearth and act on customer and market trends ahead of competitors. Through 2020, spending on self-service visual discovery and data preparation tools is expected to grow 2.5 times faster than traditionally IT-controlled tools offering similar functionality, according to IDC.
  8. AI and Machine Learning Apps Take Shape in the Enterprise. CIOs and other company leaders are beginning to turn to machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) applications to leverage the volumes of business and operational data their businesses are generating and to make the business operate more intelligently via predictive maintenance, to identify customer ROI and lifecycle opportunities, and other types of predictive planning. Global spending on cognitive and AI solutions across industries will see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 55.1% between 2016 and 2020, according to IDC.
  9. The Blockchain Gears Start Turning in Business. Blockchain, a digital, distributed ledger system which provides transparency and greater accuracy for transactions and record-keeping, is beginning to shift outside of its roots in financial services. Other industries where blockchain usage is underway includes music, real estate, automotive, and energy. A study conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value and The Economist Intelligence Unit reveals that 16% of healthcare organizations plan to have a commercial blockchain solution at scale in 2017.
  10. Augmented & Virtual Reality Reaches the Mainstream. While potential applications for augmented reality and virtual reality have been hyped for the past couple of years, companies and government agencies have begun putting AR applications into production. Sample applications include enabling retail customers to “try on” different styles and colors of clothing to providing interactive and immersive training programs for employees. As more companies invest in AR and VR applications, the global AR/VR market is projected to reach $108 billion by 2021, according to Digi-Capital.

For additional information, contact HMG Strategy’s Senior Research Director Tom Hoffman at tomhoffman@hmgstrategy.com.