2016 technology predictions for CIOs

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As we approach 2016, we asked a few Enterpriser IT executives what they see on the near horizon for the future of technology. We intentionally left the question open-ended because there are plenty of other tech pubs that are already researching technology trends. Here's what Enterprisers had to say: 

Enterprises powered by machine learning

I believe "machine learning" is today what "big data" was years ago. During the next few years we will see extreme automation of traditional complex work. Innovation from large companies (think IBM Watson) and small startups are making it possible to learn and automate things which traditionally have been thought of as being too complex for machines. That leads to this whole concept of a “digital enterprise” – digitization of the supply chain from end-to-end. Companies will focus on maturing their digital storefronts, using data intelligently to create rich personalized experiences. On the back end, we’ll see more and more companies using machine intelligence techniques to streamline their operations. John Marcante, CIO and managing director of information technology division, Vanguard

Predictions on the cloud, the road, and more 

The open hybrid cloud will arrive. Enterprises will increasingly deploy new applications in hybrid cloud environments powered by open source technology.

Automobiles will be more autonomous. Cars from both traditional manufacturers and new entrants will become "smarter" and more autonomous.

More devices will talk to us. A growing number of the machines we interact with will be voice enabled and will become more effective at understanding our requests. Lee Congdon, CIO, Red Hat

The connected home is integrated

I think the connected home – The Internet of Things and how it can help secure the home, monitor the home, etc. – is going to blow up in ways like the smartphone market did just years ago. There are so many opportunities in the home, but the technologies are often disparate. There’s definitely opportunity for home integration technologies to happen. I have a very connected home, but it’s very frustrating because there’s one technology that helps me do things with my security system, another technology that helps me do things with monitoring my windows, another technology that helps me with monitoring water pressure, and things of that nature. And I can see everything on a dashboard from my iPad when I’m thousands of miles away from home, but they’re all different technologies. And there’s nothing to really integrate those things. I think the integration of the connected home is going to be one of those places where there’s a lot of opportunity. We’ll see some companies take a look at how they can take all of these disparate things and integrate them together. Terry Bradwell, chief enterprise and innovation officer, AARP

IT grows up, grows the business  

I believe the technology in a lot of ways is waiting for IT to catch up. In the context of business I believe that IT will move to the front office and will not only enable, but also drive business growth.  Houston Ross, vice president, chief operating officer and CIO, NN Life Insurance Company, Japan

Future disruptors based on human behavior

One important consideration about predictions is the level of adoption the new technologies will achieve. Technologies affect human behavior which affects technologies. Together they affect organizational behavior. Here is how we look at it: Technologies change quickly and they affect human behavior, which changes more slowly, which affects organizational behavior, which changes even more slowly.

Therefore, to predict the future disruptors, it’s most important to predict how human behavior will adopt inside the enterprise. If we are right in our predictions, switching technologies becomes much easier. Jet Propulsion Laboratory IT just released the Next IT Decade (the next 3 years), and here are our predictions for 2015-2018.

Overall Human Behavior IT Trends 2015-2018:

  • Smart data is the new currency and everyone needs access
  • Think data first. Data is long-term, applications are temporary
  • Expecting open, accessible, mobile, cloud
  • Rapid prototyping and faster work cycles
  • Enabling crowdsourcing, maker movement, intrapreneurs
  • Work from everywhere with relevant data at your fingertips
  • Embracing IT commercialization and Internet of Things
  • Integration of IT with innovation and physical infrastructure
  • Rapid innovation through new combinations
  • Natural user interface (touch it, tap it, sign it, blink it, think it)
  • Automating everything
  • Finding non-traditional partners
  • Chaotic Architecture and rapid change is the new normal
  • Security challenges with analytics to help

We have already begun prototyping technologies to match these and are seeing excellent success so far. Tom Soderstrom, chief technology and innovation officer, Office of the CIO, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Competition heats up in the cloud

My prediction for next year is that the major disruptor, Amazon Web Services, will begin to be disrupted in the 12-36 months ahead. In these days of accelerated technology change brought about by the cloud mostly, the disruptor will quickly face disruption. As a result, cloud pricing will continue to fall. Peter Weis, vice president and CIO, Matson Navigation

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