Emerging tech adoption is evolving and accelerating
CIOs are charged with assessing the impact of emerging technologies on business. However, the way IT leaders think about integrating new technology solutions is changing. CIOs are often charged with determining the impact of emerging technologies on business. However, the way IT leaders think about integrating these new technology solutions has changed.
“At CompTIA we’ve really looked into how the job or the role IT has changed from being mostly tactical and supporting business objectives to being more strategic–there is a much larger strategic component now,” said Seth Robinson (senior director of technology analysis at CompTIA) who moderated the panel discussion The Role of Emerging Technology during ChannelCon Online.
Jay McBain (principal analyst at Forrester Research) and Betsy Ziegler (CEO of 1871), joined Robinson to discuss how emerging technologies can be integrated into strategic IT decisions and how COVID-19 has accelerated the digital transformation for companies around world.
Emerging Tech and the Shift from Strategic IT
Emerging technology is often referred to as a broad term that covers all technological advances that can drive innovation and disrupt industries. However, CIOs and tech leaders see emerging technology as an integral part of an evolving and interwoven IT ecosystem.
“[Emerging technology] is another thing that CIOs should understand and think about. Ziegler said, “How does it fit in and how can they educate their organization about what it’s used for and the problems it could solve?” “The CIOs that I speak to are constantly being bombarded by their peers about shiny new things that could drastically change the shape and direction of their business,” Ziegler said.
Before any business can implement new technology, they must first identify the problem they are trying to solve. This is a task that requires all of the leaders. Even if technology solutions are not implemented within the IT department, the CIO is often required to provide guidance and education as well as governance.
“How can you balance the pain points in an organization and what technology can help with that? Ziegler said, “What capabilities do you need to put these things in place? How do you create narratives and vocabularies so that everyone on the leadership team knows what people are talking about?”
CIOs need to steer their organizations away from the notion that any one technology will solve all business problems.
“Innovative technology has been viewed from the SKU level for the past 40 years. I’m going buy this piece technology, then I’m going build a strategy around it. McBain said that it is embedded today.
McBain suggests that the average solution could contain multiple layers of technologies working together. Robinson calls this “Artisan IT” in the CompTIA whitepaper, The Role of Emerging Technology In Digital Transformation.
“The basic computing platform has been steadily growing over the years and now you can access computing anywhere, anytime. This platform may not be growing as much as it used to, but the solutions you add to it will. Robinson said that emerging technologies are part and parcel of these solutions, not the solution itself.”
Digital Transformation at an Increasing Speed
Many companies feel that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the pace of technology implementation. This includes the shift from on-premise infrastructure to cloud computing and the increased conversation about implementing technologies that will help businesses grow.
McBain cited survey data that showed 76% CEOs and board members believed their current business model would be lost in five years.
“We’ve spoken a lot about disruption in past, but every company is facing an end-of-industry or company challenge. McBain added that this has everyone talking about emerging tech.
The CIO must facilitate these conversations and build bridges among the senior executives, vendors and IT pros within the organization. This dynamic was evident prior to the pandemic. However, the pace of change is dramatically increasing.
Ziegler stated that “We’ve gotten more done with digitization in the last four months than it would have taken to do if it wasn’t for COVID.” “The mission or the “why” a company exists may still be true, but what they are expected do and how they are expected deliver has changed… It’s unprecedented in both the pace and amount of change.
McBain also agreed. “In some of the emerging technologies, we had 3-5-year apertures set up. We’re now ta