With ongoing trade wars, the aftermath of Brexit, U.S. elections, and tightening regulations, 2020 is shaping up to be one of the most challenging years ever for chief information officers.
After all, in addition to all the economic uncertainty, technology-fueled disruption continues to move at breakneck speed.
So how on earth can CIOs—and tech management leaders who work with and for them—stay ahead of the curve?
By embracing the opportunity, says Forrester Research. After polling more than 150 CIOs at companies that were investigating, undergoing or had completed a digital transformation in 2019, the American market research group concluded that a chance for these IT leaders to step forward as a business leader will present itself in 2020—especially at advanced and intermediate customer-obsessed organizations.
On the back of its survey, Forrester also made the following five predictions:
Prediction 1 – CIOs will automate 10% of their IT tasks and look to upskill displaced personnel
Forrester’s reasoning: “The ongoing volatility and slowing growth in 2020 will still put pressure on CIOs to control costs and improve efficiency. While automation technologies erase a net 1.2 million jobs in the U.S. alone, CIOs will first look at IT jobs that are highly standardized and repetitive, such as first-level technical support and simple technology provisioning.
“For example, a financial services CIO we spoke with plans to automate all level-one technical support. However, we do not expect layoffs as our data show that IT staffing forecasts for 2020 will remain relatively flat.
“Instead, CIOs will look to train their teams for more complex tasks as part of agile, DevOps teams. CIOs who actively work on their organizational maturity—for example by implementing Forrester’s robotics quotient (RQ) and Infrastructure Automation Framework—will be in a better position to integrate robots into their systems and will experience fewer growing pains.”
Prediction 2 – CIOs will push for bigger corporate data strategy and tech budgets
Forrester’s reasoning: “While interest in big data trended dramatically downward in 2018 and 2019, enterprise data strategy continues to be a top initiative for CIOs, who see it as a necessary part of their firm’s transformation plans.
“2020 will be a wake-up year, as the total cost of getting data right will become apparent. Beginner firms that funded data strategy as a technology investment will balk at the efforts required to elevate workforce data literacy, appoint new roles, create new governance organizations, change business processes, and hire scarce talent beyond IT.
“Furthermore, as firms push more into the cloud and evolve toward real-time systems of insight at the edge, the transactional cost of data processing and movement will outstrip storage. Advanced firms will understand the benefits of getting all this right and double or triple their data strategy budget.”
For Forrester’s other three predictions of what CIOs should expect in 2020, click here.