On Thursday, 10 September 2015, Deloitte Africa launched its sixth annual Tech Trends Report. Each of the trends will be impactful over the next 18 – 24 months regardless of industry, geography or size of the business.
Each one of these eight trends has an impact across the African continent, and understanding what these trends mean locally is critical to implementing them sooner rather than later. Although the existing challenges across Africa are significant, especially when it comes to adopting technology into traditional business practices, the cost of ignoring these trends could be significant. To help bring more clarity, each trend has been rated according to its relevance in the African market, readiness to adopt and timeliness of this adoption.
Trends focused on CIO managing the business of IT
CIO as Chief Integration Officer
Irrespective of industry, the African CIO in every company needs to consciously transition from an operator and technologist, to a strategist and catalyst, working with the business to introduce transformative technologies.Therefore, integrating the CIO as part of the executive committee needs to happen as soon as possible. Unfortunately, many businesses are not ready for this discussion as they relegate the CIO to a technical function. Technology is impacting the organisation whether more traditionally-minded businesses want to admit it or not.
The API economy provides organisations with agility around their software integration needs and can extend the lifespan of their legacy applications. Despite its potential, this trend is still only being adopted in pockets given the traditional way many companies still manage their application and integration stacks. Business-to-consumer organisations will start to become hard-pressed to adopt this sooner rather than later, due to the increased need for systems of engagement to be transformed.
IT worker of the future
The world has changed thanks to the digital explosion taking place. Companies are bracing themselves for a rise in millennials joining the business and with that, new expectations of what employment means. Existing human resource policies are not ready for this new environment; however it needs to be addressed now in order to change and reflect the requirements of the connected world. This is not something that can be deferred or de-prioritised, especially since it relates to the IT worker – a critical role in business today.
Core technological trends
While this is something to consider from an agility perspective, the level of sophistication required from local businesses is not there yet. This trend focuses on a completely virtual environment and the reality of the local market means it might be some time before this trend starts gathering momentum.
With significant legacy systems in place across the continent, the need to modernize back-end processes is a very real concern for many organisations. Decision-makers need to look at different ways of embracing this modernisation including the likes of remediation and re-platforming. It is critical that organisations actively reduce their technical debt in core systems to benefit from newer technology and embrace the opportunities for digital disruption.
Taking the likes of analytics, Big Data, and machine learning, and adding an increased depth in understanding can benefit any organisation. At the moment, this trend may be too mature for the African market as it requires technologies to be layered upon one another, some of which still need to be fully embraced and understood.
Trends driven by the business fusing with IT
With consumers more connected than ever, companies need to embrace this trend as soon as possible. Knowing what your market really wants provides not only competitive advantage but ensures the agility of the organisation at a time when consumer brand loyalty is notoriously fickle. There is nothing stopping the business from taking this trend immediately to heart.
The Internet of Things is relevant to all businesses. Locally, the technology and skills are there with many organisations already completing proof of concepts around ambient computing. As its value is derived over time, some might prefer to implement other technologies in the short-term that provide more immediate benefits. Early stage experimentation is highly recommended, particularly for sectors where telemetry and machine-to-machine applications are prevalent.
“The modern African CIO needs to shape the opportunities of tomorrow and inspire the rest of the organisation to transform in order to be ready for what is to come. Things like bring-your-own-device and the democratisation of IT were but the thin edge of the wedge” says Kamal Ramsingh, Africa Technology Leader. “A wave is approaching that will hit business across all sectors. Based on extensive research and analysis factoring in current market conditions, these trends will help the CIO move away from “business as usual””.
Click here to access the full report.
To find out how to implement this year’s Technology Trends into your enterprise of future, contact Kamal Ramsingh.