10 IT predictions for the next 5 years: IDC

What forces will shape the CIO's to-do list now through 2023? Listen to what IDC has to say about AI, DevOps, talent, and more
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The race to reinvent is on, and CIOs are running out of time to either jump into the race with both feet or get left behind. True IT reinvention and reinvigoration must pervade an entire organization, from infrastructure rationalization and modernization to enterprise-wide agile practices, digital platforms, empowered IT product teams, and beyond. It's a daunting challenge, but much more attractive than business and professional failure.

IDC's annual FutureScape for the Worldwide CIO Agenda presents information about the technologies, markets, and ecosystems that help CIOs better understand future trends and their impacts on the enterprise.  Here are our 10 predictions, derived from these key drivers:

  • Prediction 1: By 2021, driven by LOB needs, 70 percent of CIOs will deliver "agile connectivity" via APIs and architectures that interconnect digital solutions from cloud vendors, system developers, start-ups, and others.
  • Prediction 2: Compelled to curtail IT spending, improve enterprise IT agility, and accelerate innovation, 70 percent of CIOs will aggressively apply data and AI to IT operations, tools, and processes by 2021.
  • Prediction 3: By 2022, 65 percent of enterprises will task CIOs to transform and modernize governance policies to seize the opportunities and confront new risks posed by AI, ML, and data privacy and ethics.
  • Prediction 4: Through 2022, 75 percent of successful digital strategies will be built by a transformed IT organization, with modernized and rationalized infrastructure, applications, and data architectures.
  • Prediction 5: By 2020, 80 percent of IT executive leadership will be compensated based on business KPIs and metrics that measure IT's effectiveness in driving business performance and growth, not IT operational measures.
  • Prediction 6: By 2020, 60 percent of CIOs will initiate a digital trust framework that goes beyond preventing cyber attacks and enables organizations to resiliently rebound from adverse situations, events, and effects.
  • Prediction 7: By 2022, 75 percent of CIOs who do not shift their organizations to empowered IT product teams to enable digital innovation, disruption, and scale will fail in their roles.
  • Prediction 8: Through 2022, the talent pool for emerging technologies will be inadequate to fill at least 30 percent of global demand and effective skills development and retention will become differentiating strategies.
  • Prediction 9: By 2021, 65 percent of CIOs will expand agile/DevOps practices into the wider business to achieve the velocity necessary for innovation, execution, and change.
  • Prediction 10: By 2023, 70 percent of CIOs who cannot manage the IT governance, strategy, and operations divides between LOB-dominated edge computing, operational technology, and IT will fail professionally.

To support CIOs in the race to reinvention, we offer the following guidance: 

  1. Create synergies between the stakeholders to get past seeming contradictions; orchestrate change across the enterprise.
  2. Don't just automate; rethink operations and processes in the context of data and AI-based optimization and potential changes in enterprise service needs. 
  3. Recognize that LOB organizations are key players in cyberattack risk and response and need to be an integral part of resilience building.
  4. Adopt goal-driven adaptive IT governance models to empower teams by granting authority to shape products and services to meet enterprise and customer needs.
  5. Create and publicize a brand and profile for the IT organization that emphasizes cutting-edge technologies and practices to attract talent.

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