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Industries are being disrupted by all kinds of digital innovations, and it is all happening at lightning speed. CEOs and CIOs are really beginning to feel the pressure when it comes to deploying the correct technologies at the right time.

As 2018 gets closer, it seems this duty is increasing in difficulty. Each individual business has the responsibility to figure out its own pain points and prioritize what needs to be taken care of first.

There is one common theme that seems to resonate throughout as technology continues to evolve, and that is the breaking down of rigid structures. It’s a mindset that is driving technology, and that mindset is changing the customer experience for the better.

As history has shown us over time, actually executing transformation can be risky and overwhelming but it is essential to any organization’s survival. If they want to survive in today’s hyper-competitive and rapidly changing marketplace, they’ll have to adapt quickly. With that said, this is what CIOs should look for going into 2018.

Be Ready for the Gap in IT Skill

According to the IBM BP Network blog, “The CIO Budget Checklist for 2017,” information management and analytics talent are not easy to come by. If you can’t find the talent from outside, then that means you have to do good with what you already have.

Nevertheless, automation is becoming more of an option as technologies in that sector become better. Adopting automation will allow businesses and IT time to focus on their talents – their higher value aspects of their job.

Lianna Brinded at Business Insider recently published an attention-grabbing piece – “Automation killed 17,000 roles at a huge tech and services firm — but no one actually lost their job.” In the article, one leading IT executive said, “To be honest, automation eliminated a lot of boring and repetitive tasks for workers. Since we take the approach of augmenting [human staff] with automation, it actually has eliminated more menial work and boosted productivity for staff.”

IT Must Be Adaptive and Agile

Tech Target posted an article about the need for IT “to be nimble and adaptable – which usually means constantly fighting against complexity.” The thing is, in that battle, complexity always wins. The complexity comes from how the IT business is fragmenting. The needs of so many types of businesses are driving the development and use of many types of technology on a multitude of different platforms.

Multiple groups of stakeholders are requiring IT service and expect their experience to be as seamless as possible. This creates an environment where they don’t even notice the hectic storm swirling around them.

Take for a large company like Amerisleep that wants to conduct data mining on bed reviews. There was a time that option didn’t exist. Nevertheless, companies are now looking for their CIOs to take action and discover data concerning everything from customer reviews to buying habits.

Analytics Is Just Getting Started

Beth Stackpole wrote in CIO.com’s Tech Forecast 2017, ” … as companies double down on their efforts to get closer to customers, data has taken on critical importance, with analytics serving as a springboard for success.” Competition to increase customer service is pushing analytics development.

Analytics is nothing new, but what will be different in 2018 is that medium and large enterprises will finally be enhancing their platforms en masse that give a place for analytics to existing and a place to go for the Internet-of-Things (IoT) a place to go. SAP HANA and S/4HANA platforms provide the in-memory real-time access that will change the game for analytics.

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