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Sleeping with one eye open: How to future-proof IT for 2030

Jenny Beresford | Sept. 22, 2016
To survive for more than a decade, or even dream of still being in existence by 2030, businesses need to keep the revolution on fire within

The digital business ecosystem in the Internet of Everything, powered by algorithms, will be complex and networked. The most compelling digital ecosystems for consumers and communities will be simple – yet under the covers will be very sophisticated in understanding the minds, drivers and desires of its constituent users.

Look to the successful social enterprise environments for clues. The creator of WeChat says: “it takes a lot of work to keep it simple.”

Take account of sensor-enabled people and things; smart machines and robotics; and predictive algorithms in a world where regulations and political positions will be disrupted by new digital business behaviours and consumer expectations.

Uber is testing legal constraints around the world right now. Facebook has become a dominant medium for communications in one decade, an archive of every nuance of daily human activity.

Try out some wild or implausible scenarios. Imagine that in the future there is no ‘IT’. No CIO. IT is invisible. Everyone is their own CIO curating their digital experience. However, imagination and design will continue to flourish, enabling human endeavour.

Are radical (enough) options and locations being considered as you explore future options? Are you considering locations and economies that may offer more opportunity to be a first mover or new sources of talent and resources? Consider some emerging African economies such as Kenya, or countries that are unstable now, but may settle during the next decade such as Syria (post-ISIS). Think of countries aspiring to develop and compete – New Guinea? Estonia? Cuba?

Are some big seemingly unsolvable problems being considered by your IT teams? Tesla aspires to space travel. Apple is making moves into transport. You may not solve ‘world hunger,’ but the stimulation of trying to tackle seemingly impossible business challenges creatively may yield some interesting and very plausible ideas, which may just turn out to be unique and/or transformative.

The business models and enterprise cultures that digital ‘followers’ aspire to today, are already history for digital leaders. To create the future, digital aspirants and current leaders need to inject even more creativity into experimenting and evolving their infrastructure, delivery, talent, leadership and innovation platforms.

CIOs in competitive enterprises cannot stand still. As the pace of change in the global digital economy continues to accelerate, new business ideas and technologies need to be tested, rejected or transferred to production, at an ever-faster pace. They need to find the time and the talent to continually reimagine and reorganise IT to sustain the ever-morphing digital course.

Sleep well, but with one eye open.


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