Across industries and geographies, business strategy is being transformed by the rapidly changing technology landscape, according to Deloitte’s 6th Annual Tech Trends Report, released today. As technology and business become ever more intertwined, the report, The Fusion of Business and IT, outlines the top macro technology developments that will disrupt businesses in the next 18-24 months.
Deloitte UK releases top eight business technology trends of 2015
This year’s theme is inspired by a fundamental transformation in the way business C-suite leaders and Chief Information Officers (‘CIOs’) collaborate to harness disruptive change, chart business strategy, and pursue opportunities. Whether it is a manufacturer looking at printing replacement parts on demand, or finding ways in the health care industry to harness artificial intelligence to improve cancer diagnosis and treatments, the confluence of business, technology and science is being seen and felt across all markets and industries.
Dan Harris, director at Deloitte in Cambridge, explains: “As technology evolves faster than ever before, it is increasingly critical to the success of enterprises. Our report looks at the remarkable rate of IT change in business and provides an insider’s view of both what is happening today, and what will occur in the coming months across different industries, geographies and company sizes. Our report encourages executives to be the catalyst of change for emerging technology, to explore the risks and embrace the opportunities it has to offer.”
The trends include:
- Ambient Computing
As the Internet of Things (‘IoT’) is maturing from its awkward adolescent phase, ‘ambient computing’ is the backdrop of sensors, devices, intelligence and agents that can put the concept to work. For example, getting a vending machine to trigger an order replenishment from the supply chain, through embedded sensors tracking stock levels. Practical applications in UK industries include those within healthcare and life sciences (remote monitoring patient care in the community), within transport (accident response sensors on the roadside), and within energy (smart metering in homes).
- IT Worker of the Future
The scarcity of technical talent on multiple fronts is a significant concern across many industries. Having access to the right number of people, with the exact skills, who can cope with the very latest innovations, whilst maintaining legacy systems, will require business leaders to access a new type of employee. The IT worker of the future will have habits, incentives and skills that are inherently different from those in play today. Design lies at the heart of this new generation, and requires new skill sets such as graphic designers, user experience engineers and behavioural psychologists. IT leaders should add an “A” for fine arts to the science, technology, engineering, and math charter. Aiming for “STEAM”, not just “STEM”, skills.
- CIO as Chief Integration Officer
In a world that is being reconfigured by technology, CIOs should be at the centre of this change. As technology transforms existing business models and gives rise to new ones; the role of the CIO is evolving rapidly, with integration at the core of its responsibility. CIOs must view their responsibilities through an enterprise-wide lens to ensure that critical domains like digital, analytics and the cloud do not negatively affect other departments. In this shifting landscape of opportunities and challenges, CIOs can be not only the connective tissue, but the driving force for intersecting, IT-heavy initiatives.
- Dimensional Marketing
Marketing has evolved significantly in the last half-decade. The evolution of digitally-connected customers lies at the core, reflecting the dramatic change in the dynamic between relationships and transactions. A new vision for marketing is being formed as Chief Marketing Officers (‘CMOs’) and CIOs invest in technology for marketing automation, next-generation omnichannel approaches, content development, customer analytics, and commerce initiatives. This modern era for marketing is likely to bring new challenges in the dimensions of customer engagement, connectivity, data and insight.
Other trends include amplified intelligence (use of artificial intelligence to amplify workers’ abilities), API economy (soft components being reused, shared and monetised), software-defined everything (the entire infrastructure and operating environment being virtualised and automated), and core renaissance (modernising systems to pay down technical debt, replatforming solutions and embracing innovative new services).
The report also includes a section dedicated to six exponential technologies — innovative disciplines evolving faster than the pace of Moore’s Law – whose impact may be profound. These include: artificial intelligence, robotics, additive manufacturing, quantum computing, industrial biology, and cybersecurity. For example, in recognition of the critical importance of the latter, a “Cyber Implications” section has been added within each chapter to explore the potential IT security and privacy considerations for each trend.
Harris adds: “Businesses across all sectors have become ever more reliant on using technology to transform their customer offerings and differentiate themselves from competitors. As a result, over the coming months CIOs and executives will have to learn more about these trends to develop response plans and prepare for what’s next. Those who can understand and embrace these developments have the opportunity to succeed in this new tech-centric business environment.”
About Deloitte Tech Trends
Deloitte’s annual “Tech Trends” report identifies the trends most likely to have an impact for CIOs in the coming year and beyond. Now in its sixth consecutive year, the trends are based on: feedback from client executives on current and future priorities, perspectives from industry and academic luminaries, research by technology alliances, industry analysts, competitor positioning, and crowdsourced ideas and examples from our global network of practitioners.
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.
Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.
The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.
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The Deloitte Cambridge office comprises 8 Partners and over 250 staff who deliver a full range of professional services to the East Anglian region. As well as focussing on the life sciences and technology sectors for which the region has become so renowned, the office has long standing specialisms in other sectors including the professions, consumer business, food and agribusiness.