In a recent CIO article, Serge Findling, IDC’s Vice President of Research, warned, “time for action is growing short as competitors are accelerating their digital efforts [and] there are concrete actions that CIOs can and must take to create digital-native ‘future enterprises.’”

Findling’s piece went on to highlight a number of the IDC FutureScape: Worldwide CIO Agenda 2020 Predictions and how tech leaders can capitalize on them for success in 2020 and beyond.

  • By 2023, 65% of CIOs will transform their organizations into centers of excellence that engineer enterprise-wide collaboration and innovation. Findling underscored that evolving IT departments into centers for digital knowledge, technologies, and best practices will help recruit new tech-savvy leaders and employees, and also accelerate and integrate digital efforts throughout the company. As part of this shift, IT leaders will need to become more proactive in driving change—for example, anticipating business needs or new IT services and building the required skills and capabilities to deliver these in real time. He recommends that CIOs outline the skills required at each stage of digital transformation and build partner networks to fill the gaps in skills and competencies.
  • By 2022, 70% of IT organizations will have transitioned from builders and operators to designers and integrators of digital solutions that come to define every product, service, or process. Today, technology permeates across  every department. In the years ahead, “these LOB organizations, aided and abetted by vendors, will take on more technology creation and deployment roles, whether or not IT supports that shift.” Findling suggests that CIOs can get ahead of this trend by developing digital platforms and API strategies to support secure and rapid integration of diverse apps and systems. Focusing resources and expertise in design and user experience is also critical, along with creating centers of excellence for vetting and selecting digital apps and tools.
  • Through 2022, deployment of AI to augment, streamline, and accelerate IT operations will be a principal IT transformation initiative for 60% of enterprise IT organizations. Findling states, “The challenge for CIOs is not finding resources to automate IT, it’s zeroing in on the opportunities that offer the most impact.” As such, he recommends that CIOs start their AI journeys by determining which objective is of the most strategic importance. Given the wealth of AI talent at universities, consortiums, and start-ups, he advises tech leaders to nurture relationships with these groups and source talent with key skills needed to deploy AI more widely throughout the organization.
  • By 2023, 60% of CIOs will implement formal employee experience programs. According to Findling, “After mounting a series of unsuccessful, disconnected, and scattershot employee engagement initiatives, high-performing CIOs are assembling strategic outcome- and goal-driven employee experience programs that fuse continuous learning, collaboration, and innovation with digital workspaces.” He believes these programs will play a key role in boosting productivity and attracting the best talent, and he recommends that tech leaders, line-of-business heads, and HR teams collaborate in their design and approach.

For more on IDC’s 2020 predictions and recommendations for successfully navigating these trends, check out Findling’s article in its entirety here. As he puts it, “As the pace of digital transformation accelerates, digital success becomes more difficult. To increase their chances of success, CIOs need to have a plan and strategy for breaking down the constituent components of digital transformation into manageable chunks.”