15 emerging technologies CIOs must watch through 2020

Aside from keeping the lights on and ensuring that all of the enterprise’s IT ducks are in a row, CIOs continually need to stay abreast of emerging technologies. According to a recent study from Forrester, CIOs that want to maintain their relevancy within an organization not only need to keep each these next-gen innovations on their immediate radar, but determine how to best apply that set of tech to stay competitive amidst the changes.

Forrester recommends CIOs adopt a customer-centric approach when making these decisions, in what the research firm dubs the “Age of the Customer.” What this means is that the CIO isn’t only required to become fully cognizant of the latest in mobile, social, big data and the cloud, but how and where the Internet of Things, wearable and other digital solutions fit into the bigger picture.

To assist these executives with the exponentially growing list of technologies and their potential applications in the business setting, Forrester has broken them down into to four main innovation groups. As the analysts note, here are the key 15 trends enterprise architects must watch over the five years.

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Emerging business solutions enable new ways of doing business

1. Customer analytics solutions help firms deeply understand what their customers need and when they need it; emerging technology packages help firms develop a complete contextual view, without lots of custom plumbing.

2. Digital experience solutions offer a cockpit for managing the customer life cycle; these provide an integrated environment for firms to manage customers, content, segments, and offerings.

3. Customer-driven design solutions enable collaborative experience design with customers; experience designers will get a rich environment to learn, test, and iterate with more customer input.

4. Internet of Things solutions offer packaged business process and integration; combining sensors, networks, platforms, and integration will accelerate IoT value and speed implementation for specific business scenarios

Emerging interaction technologies create news ways to engage customers

5. Next-generation connectivity enables a wide range of new digital endpoints; very low-power wireless technology will expand the types of devices that can connect, while cutting costs dramatically.

6. Wearable technology creates many new information sources and displays; new gadgets are adding rich info collection or display on, in, and around the body, expanding digital reach.

7. Natural user interfaces offer new methods for interacting with computing experiences; beyond point, type, and touch, people will be able to talk, wink, wave, and be tapped.

Emerging aggregation and delivery technologies drive contextual engagement

8. Real-time sourcing and delivery technology brings insight to the point of decision; marketing and operations will have deeper contextual insight from fresh data for engagement.

9. Advanced analytics technology allows firms to cull deeper insight from more data; analysts and data science teams will get better and faster at teasing understanding from piles of diverse data.

10. Digital identity management technology helps firms and individuals control access across channels; employees and customers will more easily gain access to services they need or want, in line with the dynamic privacy and security concerns of our digital world.

11. Software acceleration platforms and tools help firms continuously deliver; firms will experiment with application development and delivery to maximize engagement and value.

Emerging infrastructure technology creates a powerful and agile foundation

12. Advanced silicon devices offer new levels of computing, energy efficiency, and sensors types; reductions in silicon device size will enable improvements through 2020, when limits appear.

13. Software-defined infrastructure will enable flexible, easy data center adjustments; abstracted hardware controlled by powerful software will create flexible, agile infrastructure.

14. Cloud integration tools will integrate apps and management across cloud and on-premises; hybrid architectures will become easier to design and operate as tools take shape.

15. Big data management technology provides a flexible, affordable foundation for insight; technology managers will embrace this software as the only affordable way to meet business demands for more insight from more data.

To read more, access the entire Forrester blog post and report here.

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