CIOs Want To Know: What’s Coming Next In Technology?

CIOs would like to be able to predict the coming wave of technologies
CIOs would like to be able to predict the coming wave of technologies
Image Credit: Evelina Ander

If a the person with the CIO job could have a super power, what would be the best one to have? The ability to fly and avoid all of those lines at the airport? The ability to see through walls and find the people that you are looking to talk with? These would all be great to have, but perhaps there is another super power that would top them all. How about the ability to see into the future? The ability to see what is coming next in the crazy mixed up world of technology? This truly would be a great power to have. None of us have this power, but if we take the time to talk to really smart people then sometimes we might just a peek at what is coming our way.

What’s Next

The big question that the person in the CIO position needs to be dealing with is just exactly what is the next wave of emerging technology going to look like for us? The reason that this is so important is because these are the technologies that you and I need to be paying attention to right now. One of the things that CIOs need to realize is that emerging technologies do not always show up all by themselves. Instead, they can appear as a part of something else. This is why the experts are predicting that a lot of of traditional categories of technology are going to end up getting redone to make them more modern. This means that new technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence will get worked into things that we are already used to.

One of the biggest questions that CIOs need to be dealing with is where will computing be done in the future? Right now, we are living in the era of cloud computing where everything seems to get done in the cloud. However, is this just a brief moment in time? Will things change? Keep in mind that in the past we started out with mainframes, went to microcomputers, and then went back to servers. The same thing may be happening to the cloud. The reason that we may be looking at a change is the arrival of the internet of everything. All of those remote devices can’t take the time to communicate with the cloud. A great example of this is self-driving cars. They may report information to the cloud, but the delay in talking to the cloud means that they can’t use the cloud to navigate or control the car otherwise bad things could happen.

Computing that is done far away from centralized servers is referred to as edge computing. The experts believe that there is a real possibility that cloud computing may go away over time. The reason that this would happen would be that there would be a shift away from centralized processing of information to processing it more at the edge. As more and more devices start to become part of the edge of computing, the thinking is that the edge will start to dominate computing. This is where the machine learning and artificial intelligence will live. It will allow a proliferation of edge computing to slide into vogue.

What Will The Mission Of The CIO Be In The Future?

The change in technology means that the world of the CIO is going to be changing also. Will we be ready for these changes? One of the things that every CIO needs to realize is that their company is in the process of becoming a software development company. This may not have been a role that they played in the past, but they will find themselves creating and using software as they move into the future. As a result of this change, the developers that are working for the CIO are now becoming a more and more important part of the overall equation. What this means for you as CIO is that you are going to have to make sure that your developers have access to the tools that they feel that they need in order to do their job. If they don’t, then there is a very real possibility that they will end up leaving and going to work somewhere else.

One of the biggest challenges that CIOs have to deal with when it comes to technology is trying to separate the reality from the hype. All of the magazines and websites that we visit seem to get excited over “the next big thing”. This leads us to the question – what’s real and what should we be paying attention to? As an example, the promise of an all-seeing, all-knowing chatbot that will be able to handle long unbounded conversations is all hype – it’s not going to he happening any time soon. However, being able to scan through someone’s Google Photos collection and pull out images of a specific person over time with each photo being geotagged correctly, now that’s going to be possible. CIOs should be looking at their business processes and trying to determine which ones could be made more efficient through the application of technology.

What a CIO really wants to be able to do is to find a way to stop being reactive about what technology has done in the past and instead start to be predictive about what its going to be doing going forward. The number of employees that a CIO is in charge of will probably go down as more and more of a company’s applications move into the cloud. However, the employees that the CIO is responsible for will be providing a higher level of service. What CIOs need to be doing now is finding out how they can get their staff to stop having to deal with cloud infrastructure issues and instead free them up so that they can solve more the critical business issues that are running on top of that cloud infrastructure.

What All Of This Means For You

CIOs have a responsibility to run the IT department as it exists today; however, they also have a responsibility to understand the importance of information technology and prepare the IT department for what will be coming tomorrow. In order to accomplish this, we always have to be looking towards the future and trying to determine what will be next in technology.

When a CIO goes looking for where the next technology will show up in their IT department, they may not have to look any further than the software that they are currently using. New technology can be added to these applications in order to improve and expand what they can do. Currently cloud computing is all the rage. As we move into the future, the arrival of the internet of things is going to push more and more computing out to the edge of the network and that is where machine learning and artificial intelligence will really come into play. CIOs need to understand that their companies, like it or not, are being transformed into software development shops. This means that the CIOs will need to make sure that the needs of their developers are being met. CIOs should be looking at their business processes and trying to determine which ones could be made more efficient through the application of technology. In the future, CIOs will have fewer employees, but they will be able to spend more time working on critical business issues.

The future is coming and as CIO you are going to have to make sure that you will be ready for it. We can’t predict exactly what new technologies we’ll be dealing with, but we can make some good guesses. We need to understand that these new technologies will change how we run our IT department and so we should start making changes so that we can deal with them now.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™

Question For You: How should you staff an IT department to manage the computing that will occur at the edge of the network?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

The world in which we live is currently changing. Over the past few years, as the importance of information technology has grown, the internet has become a bigger and more important part of both our personal and professional lives. Every IT department makes extensive use of the internet these days to run apps, handle storage, and communicate. The revolution that is currently going on is occurring because more and more devices are being connected to the internet for the first time. What will the impact of this be for CIOs?

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