One of the biggest challenges that CIOs are facing is ensuring that our teams have the right skills to execute strategies. The high rate of technological change and demands across industries is resulting in skill shortages. Some of the areas where the shift is happening is the movement from a world in which we have focused on physical data centers and internal application administration to a world in which we have more capability off-premise and the emphasis is on cloud applications provided, for example, as Software-as-a- Service (SaaS). Because of this rapid shift in skill requirements, training and re-tooling is not happening fast enough. Other skills we need urgently include data scientists, data analysts and people who know how to create great data visualizations.
Some of the game-changing trends we are experiencing include the migration to Cloud technologies, a greater emphasis on mobile as we enter a post-PC world, and the increasing focus on capturing and leveraging data. In addition, many enterprises will incorporate social collaboration into day-to-day work. Eventually this will become a common way for employees to work together, share information and get things done.
Further forward, we will see a greater use of artificial intelligence. Today we see a lot of intelligence built into our software and into our devices. We’ll see this intelligence increasingly in our cars and our homes. Not only will machines talk to us, machines will talk to each other. It’s already beginning to happen.
Areas of concern that need attention
CIOs no longer have 100 per cent oversight for every technology decision made by an organization. For example, with a credit card and Internet access, any business leader can implement a whole range of technology services. Those services can be active and available to that unit almost immediately. Ultimately this is a positive development, but it needs careful thought so that the benefits of this seamlessness don’t create a greater burden down the line.
I also worry about information security. As smart as we are to defend our infrastructure, the bad guys are working hard to break these defenses and to steal information and cause mayhem. Our security environment has become highly complex. As soon as we have a new defense technology, the bad guys have a better attack technology.