Digital transformation priorities for CIOs in 2016

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IT and Business Alignment

Digital transformation strategies will continue to lead the way for innovative CIOs in 2016. Many CIOs will adopt mobile, cloud, and social technologies that will increase customer engagement and optimize business processes. Studies predict CIOs are investing more money in mobility, with IT decision makers expected to spend a larger percentage of their budgets on mobile technology in 2016. The trick will be accomplishing this while struggling to decrease dependency on legacy systems and increasing resource efficiency to meet budgetary constraints.

Here are the five major trends we see in 2016:

Rapid Mobile App Development: The big push for 2016 will be understanding which processes to mobilize, not based on the applications that employees currently use, but based on mobilizing processes that impact revenues. There will be a move away from developing on a first-come, first-served basis, toward a value-driven prioritization leading to a more efficient use of IT resources and a stronger ROI. IT development will be more elastic and able to innovate quickly with speed-to-market capabilities giving priority to apps that improve customer service or boost sales. Line-of-business leaders will look to CIOs to quickly provide anytime, anywhere mobile apps in both online and offline modes.

Platformization” of IT: With the increasing emphasis on enterprise mobility and system integration, there is a growing trend toward use of development platforms. According to Gartner, by CIOs “platformizing” their approach to delivery, talent and leadership, they can orchestrate different layers of the business, create value for their enterprise, and become key digital leaders. Using development platforms also has the benefit of security processes, and database structures being built-in, streamlining the sharing and presentation of enterprise data, while improving usability and speeding up time-to-market.

Focus on Mobile to Back-End System Integration: For business processes that generate a competitive edge, enterprises will prefer a custom mobile app rather than an “off the shelf” app or a module from an enterprise software provider. These custom applications will require integration with back-end legacy systems that span both real-time and long running processes. A sensible re-usable approach to system integration will help ensure that the overhead of each mobile application is minimized, thereby increasing the ability for IT departments to meet their business units’ voracious appetite for mobile apps.

Convergence of CRM and Marketing Automation: With a focus on leveraging IT assets to improve the bottom line, customer relationship management systems will become fully integrated with marketing campaigns for better customer engagement. In 2016, CRM systems will go far beyond storing information about sales interactions by creating messages, compiling target lists, automating distribution schedules, capturing replies and inquiries, routing them to the right sales person, tracking the sale opportunity, recording the successful sales event, and calculating the campaign ROI. By tracking every touch point with the customer and then aggregating, analyzing and leveraging this information, personalized campaigns will be created, launched and tracked to boost sales effectiveness.

Increase in Hybrid Integrations: More and more enterprises will be making the switch from outdated legacy systems to cloud-based application systems. In 2016, hybrid cloud integration will enable data from on-premises legacy systems to integrate with cloud data, bridging the network divide between existing databases, applications, SaaS/PaaS systems, mobile data, and Big Data. Hybrid integration requires complete and unified integration platforms to help enterprises make way for innovation and competitive advantage while leveraging existing systems.

With the digital transformation of enterprises and small businesses going strong, 2016 will see IT focusing on the tools and applications that bring innovation and that provide real business value.

Glenn Johnson is Senior Vice President of Magic Software Enterprises Americas. Mr. Johnson is the author of the award-winning blog "Integrate My JDE" on and contributor to the Business Week Guide to Multimedia Presentations (Osborne-McGraw Hill). He has presented at Collaborate, Interop, COMMON, CIO Logistics Forum and dozens of other user groups and conferences.