Chief information officers today have easier jobs than ever before. Thanks to the recent boom in technical solutions that add to office efficiency, companies are now running their operations smoothly and effectively. The old days of paper jams and locked-up computers are mostly over – nowadays, technology works better and runs faster, enabling people to get their work done with ease.
Then again, technological innovation is a double-edged sword. More invention may make CIOs’ jobs easier, but it makes them harder as well. There are so many new technologies out there that it becomes difficult for an IT department to understand them all – and just when you think you’ve got everything figured out, more innovation comes along to change everything.
Being a CIO nowadays is a demanding position, as learning new technology is a relentless pursuit. Companies are always being forced to adapt. Here’s a look at the top three IT trends that have changed the game.
Now that companies are able to store their data online in the cloud rather than using in-house servers, they’re able to stockpile more information and share it with ease. According to Information Management, the cloud has risen to prominence over the last five years. Mark Smith, CEO of Ventana Research, writes that times have changed dramatically.
“Our latest research into technology innovations for business found a significant shift toward the use of on-demand and cloud computing approaches,” Smith wrote. “No more than five years ago, the preferred approach was to have IT buy and install all technology. Times have changed, and business is now using what it needs to be more productive and drive the most effective results.”
Smith found a variety of reasons why businesses have made the move to the cloud – 40 percent say it’s helped them lower costs, 39 percent cite improved efficiency and 34 percent said it’s made applications and information more available.
The mobile revolution
Now that workers have all this information stored online, the next thing they need is a convenient way to access it all. That’s where mobile devices come in. Companies are working rapidly not only to use more tablets and smartphones, but also to design more personalized apps that will help their employees work more efficiently.
Jeff Findlay, a mobile architect at Borland, told IT Wire that he predicts a 50 percent increase in the number of business apps accessible on mobile devices in the next three years. With this growth comes a need for more skilled engineers to design apps.
“Mobile apps play a critical role in every organization’s business strategy today,” Findlay said. “But the consumer in all of us is demanding more, and companies are under increasing pressure to release higher quality mobile apps faster and more often than ever before.”
The third area of rapid expansion in IT is big data. Now that companies have so much capacity to store information, they’re collecting truckloads of it, looking to process it all and make more sense of the world around them. Economic data, financial data about competing businesses, demographic data about their customers – it’s all fair game.
The amount of data out there is growing so quickly, companies aren’t even sure what to do with it all. They literally don’t have the manpower to keep up. According to an estimate from McKinsey and Company, there’s a major shortage of big data analysts on the horizon – the United States will have a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 workers with analytical skills, plus 1.5 million managers.
IT is moving so quickly that even the head honchos aren’t sure how to keep it under control. CIOs have their work cut out for them in the years ahead.