Thought Leadership

Five Technologies CIOs Expect to Revolutionize Business

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CIOs everywhere realize the barriers between formerly distinct industries are collapsing, as companies in one sector apply their expertise to others – producing new hybrids and erasing traditional industry classifications in the process. To avoid being left behind, companies across all industries must have a strategy for implementing a rapid digital reinvention. If not, they risk seeing their business evaporate as their competitors overtake them

CIOs also concur with most of their C-suite colleagues on the root cause of the forces reshaping the business landscape: 77 percent point to the disruptive influence of new technologies. It’s important to understand the individual technology enablers that are helping to lead digital transformation. Alone, each plays a vital role in digital transformation, but it is the convergence of these different technologies that holds the greatest promise – and delivers the biggest value across all industries. Let’s take a quick look at five of these and how they are changing business:

  • Mobile Solutions
  • Cloud Computing
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Advanced Analytics
  • Cognitive Computing


Mobile Solutions

Organizations value mobility as a way to connect to their customers instantaneously, but they need to make sure that they provide a consistent user experience across all channels (e.g. in store, browser, mobile).

“70% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand because it provides a simpler experience, and 38% are willing to pay more for a simpler experience.”*

When consumers check out a vendor’s offerings they expect to search for products, read reviews and experience standard pricing whether they are shopping from their mobile, laptop or in-store. Customer purchase decisions and brand loyalty are heavily dependent on a positive buying experience. Businesses must now deliver a consistent omni-channel experience throughout the customer journey.

For mobile applications, a first-class user experience is paramount. It has become a minimum expectation for customers and the quality of that experience is entirely dependent on the use of individualized data. To accelerate digital reinvention for our clients, IBM is active in the area of user experience and Design Thinking and is expanding its digital marketing and design portfolio.


Cloud Computing

The cloud allows organizations to accelerate the time to value, drive higher adoption of new technologies, and connect value chains in real time. The cloud now has significant relevance to all CxOs, especially CMOs who are reliant on accelerated time to value.

Organizations facing digital disruption in their industry need to quickly evaluate which cloud delivery models will help them innovate faster in today’s digital economy. Most companies already operate in a hybrid world, where cloud technologies interact with on-premise apps. Delivered through the cloud, innovative apps have proven valuable across industries.


Internet of Things

Nine billion devices around the world are currently connected, including computers and smartphones. The number of connected devices is expected to increase dramatically within the next decade, with estimates ranging from 50 billion to one trillion. IoT digitizes our world, providing us with prolific amounts of data and new delivery models that allow organizations to engage in new value creation, unlock new revenue from existing products and services and inspire new working practices.


Advanced Analytics

Senior executives now want businesses to run on data-driven decisions. They want scenarios and simulations that provide immediate guidance on the best actions to take when disruptions occur (e.g. entry of unexpected competitors, an earthquake in a supply zone, a customer signaling it may switch providers). Executives want to understand optimal solutions based on complex business parameters or new data insights and information, and they want to take action quickly.

Despite popular opinion, getting the data right is not a top challenge organizations face when adopting analytics. The leading obstacle to widespread analytics adoption is lack of understanding of how to use analytics to improve the business.


Cognitive Computing

Many CIOs think cognitive computing – a new class of systems inspired by the way the human brain processes information, draws conclusions and codifies experience – could revolutionize business, too. Congitive can learn and provide advice, guiding the customer journey through complex decisions using natural language – all while considering an exhaustive set of options. For large organizations, this can drive significant cost benefits while actually improving customer satisfaction. Cognitive can also:

  • Understand unstructured data through sensing and interaction
  • Generate hypotheses by considering arguments and recommendations
  • Learn from training interactions by continually ingesting data

Cognitive-enabled processes will be key to unlocking value and will be essential to making sense of the exploding amount of data created by IoT. For analytics, we also see traditional descriptive/diagnostic analytics evolving to predictive/cognitive analytics.



CIOs believe mobile solutions, cloud computing, IoT, advanced analytics and cognitive computing will revolutionize business. Individually these technologies have a vast potential to add to the value chain. Taken together, their impact is amplified by orders of magnitude. The adoption of these technologies will only accelerate and this is especially the case with IoT and cognitive. To learn more about how you can reinvent your company, visit our website.

Distinguished Engineer, SAP Global CTO

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