As part of a recent international keynote speaking engagement, we had the great pleasure to present to a number of Arabic speakers and English-language business clients, partners and consultants from throughout the Middle East and African regions at IBM’s BusinessConnect 2014 event in Dubai and the UAE. In addition to celebrating the 50th anniversary of the mainframe and getting to learn a great deal from companies about the future of business in the region (as well as make many new friends), we had the chance to discuss the future of technology and corporate innovation with several C-Level leaders. As a result of these conversations, it quickly became obvious that to succeed in the coming future, CEOs, CIOs, CMOs and others in the organization should be aware of five key tech trends going forward, which we’d like to share with you below:
- Analytics Will Provide More Answers – Enterprises are increasingly using big data to track evolving patters, understand end-users’ behavior, capture their attention and better engage with target audiences. They want to understand why people buy products, when, and how to capitalize on these purchasing drivers. Analytics, not gut instinct, are helping businesses better understand buyer behavior how to better serve and activate customers through their decision journey.
- Human Capital is Key – Organizations aren’t just tracking professionals’ output anymore either. They want tools to spot emerging leaders and give internal change agents the support and resources they need to spark innovation. Technology platforms are increasingly being used to empower workers on a global scale to communicate team up and take decisive action by constantly deploying new solutions in real-world environments – then capture subsequent learning and use it to inform future efforts.
- Software is fast becoming the face of your business – User experience will be key to building and maintaining relationships. The online and mobile solutions you offer are increasingly becoming the face of your brand. Multi-channel interaction is also crucial: You can’t just design for one device. You’ve got to design for multiple contexts.
- Agile and adaptive infrastructures are vital to maintaining competitive advantage. Cloud and online solutions currently allow us to manage complex systems and allow us to quickly sense and adjust to impending changes in near real-time. Hybrid clouds will only offer more help as time passes by offering complete turnkey packages for managing manpower and resources more efficiently.
- IT is no longer the domain of IT alone. New stakeholders in every department are starting to take more technology ownership. They’ll increasingly look to off-the-shelf tools, automated solutions and white-label options to aid with productivity and process management. Turnkey and self-service solutions will help every department to more rapidly innovate in years to come.