1. Reimagining the Future of Work in a Highly Distributed Environment. The COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to rapidly shift to work-at-home strategies, placing enormous pressure on technology leaders to ramp up access to VPNs, videoconferencing systems and distributed technologies to support a highly distributed workforce. Even after vaccinations have become widespread and the infection rate has flattened, many CIOs and technology executives expect to see large percentages of the workforce to continue working remotely. This will require the ability for teams to connect with each other using collaboration platforms such as Zoom and RingCentral. These factors are forcing technology executives to reimagine and conceptualize what the future of work looks like for their organizations to ensure that employees have access to the tools they need to remain productive on the road ahead.
2. Mastering Your Digital Domain. Digital market disruption is creating havoc for companies across all industries. At the current churn rate, roughly half of the companies in the S&P 500 will be replaced over the next ten years, according to Innosight. In order for businesses to survive and thrive, courageous CIOs and technology executives must partner with their CEOs and Boards to identify how digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, Big Data, analytics, the Internet of Things and cloud computing can be leveraged to craft customer-focused business models, identify and execute on new business opportunities and enable the enterprise to gain a competitive edge.
3. Leveraging the Power of 5G. Now that the major wireless carriers are rolling out 5G networks nationwide, consumers and businesses can expect to see faster speeds and lower latency in using their wireless devices. Qualcomm estimates that 5G could deliver browsing and download speeds that are 10x to 20x faster than current 4G mobile networks. 5G offers tremendous opportunities for businesses across different industries. Early movers in retail, automotive, entertainment, healthcare, manufacturing and logistics stand to gain a competitive edge by introducing customer-friendly services such as virtual dressing rooms and augmented reality experiences which create competitive differentiation. Meanwhile, corporations stand to reap additional business and operational benefits by leveraging customer and operational data at the edge.
4. Identifying the Right Business Cases for AI. In 2020, artificial intelligence continued to make further inroads into businesses – from helping to deliver more intuitive customer experiences to streamlining processes (Robotic Process Automation) and providing executives with deeper insights into customer and market shifts. As we look ahead to 2021 and beyond, CIOs and technology executives in the HMG community are sharing with us the need to identify specific use cases for AI and machine learning that can deliver true business value to the enterprise.
5. Operationalizing Automation in the Enterprise. As CIOs and business leaders continue to identify applicable use cases for robotic process automation and other forms of automation (customer service, HR, finance, accounting), technology leaders will continue to partner with RPA providers to identify opportunities for handing off manual or time-intensive tasks to software robots to enable employees to focus on more meaningful cognitive activities. Hyperautomation also offers vast opportunities for technology and business executives to create new customer services and reimagine the business.
6. Safeguarding the Future of Work. As CISOs and other security leaders continue to battle an escalation of phishing, ransomware attacks and other nefarious cyber threats facing their organizations, they must approach these challenges from the lens of a hybrid work model. This includes a focus on protecting the crown jewels as a subset of employees alternate between in-office and remote work environments and the vulnerabilities these can bring to the enterprise security model.
7. Embracing a Zero Trust Security Model. As cyber threats continue to become more sophisticated and numerous – and as organizations dramatically expand their digital footprints - CISOs and security leaders are increasingly shifting to zero trust security models to protect the organization’s critical assets. Indeed, more than 60 percent of enterprise executives say their organizations are working towards or planning to introduce zero-trust security models into their organizations, according to a survey of 1,000 IT, security and engineering decision-makers conducted by Okta.
8. Thriving in a Hyperconverged World. As CIOs and their teams look to deliver greater business value to the enterprise, they’re shifting away from time and resource-intensive tasks such as operating data centers. This is part of the reason why a growing number of organizations are shifting to a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) model, as it allows companies to avoid vendor dependency while providing greater agility to the business under a hybrid cloud environment.
9. Leveraging IoT and Edge Computing in the Connected World. Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and data are creating new insights for executives in manufacturing and other industries such as retail and entertainment. For instance, plant floor managers can draw upon IoT data and analytics to predict when a machine will require maintenance based on vibrations, sounds and other physical factors. Meanwhile, retailers are using IoT technologies to capture real-time customer data from kiosks and other sources. IoT technologies, combined with edge computing capabilities, can help executives to avoid unanticipated and expensive downtime for equipment and to quickly analyze and respond to changes in customer behavior.
10. The Rise of Computer Vision. Computer vision is an emerging scientific field in which computers can gain understanding from the content of digital images or video using AI. There are a multitude of potential applications for computer vision, ranging from inspecting machines to identify worn or loose parts to advances that can be made in medical imaging, biometrics and surveillance.
For additional information, contact HMG Strategy’s Senior Research Director Tom Hoffman at email@example.com.
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