Businesses have begun to talk more and more in recent years about the centrality of their 2020 strategy and where they hope to be on the technological spectrum within the next 5 years. Given the amazing progress we’ve seen in just the past several years through the emergence and confluence of mobile, cloud, and Big Data technologies, we might be excused for having rather high expectations about what to expect in the next five.
A 2020 business strategy is a guideline or set of benchmarks for how an organization keeps up with rapid technological growth and prepares for the digitization of work. For instance, your CIO and CEO might determine that your organization’s 2020 goal is to become best in class for customer service in your particular vertical. Or your business might become third in overall sales? Whatever the benchmark might be, the 2020 strategy is an opportunity for an organization to develop an internal assessment of where it is currently, where it wants to be, and what it has to do to get there.
It’s almost 2015 and these next 5 years are sure to be a fascinating, if not epic, time of technological change. Will your organization be ready? Here are a number of predictions and recommendations that smart business leaders should seriously consider if they want to stay competitive in the digital workforce.
IT in the cloud: Hardware will be a thing of the past and IT departments will exist in the cloud. To stay competitive, CIOs today need to start migrating their services to cloud storage while embracing the latest trends in IT automation and DevOps.
Smart robots and advanced automation: Rapid advances in cloud, mobile, and collaboration have created new possibilities in the realm of automation, and especially robotics. Telepresence robots have reached an inflection point as prices are dropping, making more options available for remote workers. 2015 may be the year that Amazon gains FAA approval for its drone delivery service called Air Prime. And now we’re also on the verge of driverless cars, which Nissan announced it will have on the roads by 2020.
Sensors will be everywhere: Internet of Things will become the next major disruption of the future internet. Early commercial applications like Fitbit and the Nest thermostat will seem miniscule compared to what emerges in the next 5 years. But these are the stepping stones, and CIOs will do well to get acquainted with the concept of ubiquitous computing now rather than later.
Wearables will become the new PCs: The announcement of Apple Watch in September has all eyes on early 2015 when the devices will become available for purchase. It’s a highly anticipated release and is expected to make the smartwatch a permanent fixture in our lives. The future internet will become harnessed to our bodies and personas in ways that we never imagined. Our eyes, ears, and other senses, as well as our arms and hands, will become extensions of our digital selves. In fact, some day they will say, “Remember the smartphone.” Yes, that’s right! The smartphone will go the way of the desktop and wearables will become our personal devices of choice.
Smart machines will become commonplace: Artificial intelligence will advance to the point that many jobs we take for granted today will become outsourced. Speech recognition systems will develop to the point where a robot can answer the phone and provide tech support with a digital voice that sounds strikingly similar to a human voice. Major disruptions in the workforce will mean that CIOs will become more focused on managing machines than people.
2020 will be here sooner than you think! For some companies it’s just another year. But for organizations that are innovative and forward-thinking, 2020 represents a benchmark that guides and directs new strategies and development goals. Business leaders who want to stay ahead of their competition and get a jump-start on the latest emerging and disruptive trends will do well to start implementing a set of 2020 strategies and guidelines today.