Five years from now, when a simple majority of enterprises have undergone digital transformation, will we have double the IT footprint?

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VP, Customer and Technical Operations in Software, 501 - 1,000 employees
Maybe if they're totally transforming their business, like a bookstore going on to become Amazon. Obviously, they're going to be spending a lot more on the digital side of it.
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Board Member, Former CIO in Software, 10,001+ employees

For now it's an uptick with spending on automating manufacturing and making online delivery of services more essential. But then you're going to get to a point where it's like, "Okay, an extra 10% there actually isn't making life better for people." So it's going to go back to what we have to do in G&A, which is really just optimize it. Are we getting the right outcomes for what it is that we're doing? You can look at this by industry, and the answer is going to become clear. You can look at how much this particular shoe manufacturer has digitized their automation and marketing in comparison to other ones. And you get better answers to whether they're on the front of that curve or on the back of that curve: the optimization side or the investment side.

CEO in Software, 11 - 50 employees

It's funny that you mentioned shoes because, if I were to attempt to support my argument in a general way, I would actually use Nike as a perfect example. Nike has put technology everywhere, including in how you buy and design your own shoe, as opposed to just putting it in a factory where somebody makes $5 an hour building the shoe and putting it in a plane or a ship and shipping it to you, and then putting it in a store where you walk in and buy it. There's a significant amount of new technology that has become part of that whole process.

CIO in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
3-5%, at least from my lens. I don't know that we're ever going to double that footprint. I don't see it changing that way for most of us. Maybe for certain use cases. If you look at something like Facebook and where it started, and I'm not sure what the vision is, but a lot of people connected with people they went to high school with, and that's where they exchange pictures with friends and family. Think about email and instant messages. I think if you go back to the core of what the technology is doing and the core of what any of these transformations do, again, what is that outcome? I don't think it yields a double, I think it just yields incremental growth.
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Director of IT in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

I think about Facebook in a slightly different way. I look at that as more of a community platform. And I think it's more around producing a phone book, it's more about what they're having to produce in order to provide that interconnectedness. I think it would be more telecom ask. It raises a really interesting question.

Director of IT in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
I'm starting to see, across the board, a gate that everybody's reaching. Companies are saying we're either going to go through this gate and spend more money or we're going to stop and say, "Let's rationalize what we have. Is it working for us? Can we really justify more spend?" At some point, you have to take a step back and go, "What is the ROI on this? Is it really moving the needle? Or do we need to take a look at what we've got in our stack and ask ourselves, what is it doing for us?" And I don't see a lot of movement in the next three to five years, because I see so many companies that are still in the midst of going through that process. I think it's more in about a 10 year period of time.
Board Member, Former CIO in Software, 10,001+ employees
I think when you look at all the elements of business, from gross margin to R&D to SG&A, they are all adopting technology. In a software company, one way you can look at it is that technology is 100% of the R&D investment. And for some companies that will be the case. But you can also see technology making its way into the cost of goods sold, into the sales processes, and into G&A. And it's a little bit easier to benchmark it when you start looking at it in that context: if you look at the total technology spend. 

Look at car companies, for example; more and more of the service that they're making will be a technology delivery service for the car, not just in the diagnostics of what's going on with the compute infrastructure on board, but even as services that they are going to make available that accentuate the car, whether that's navigation or entertainment or self-driving or whatever. The cogs are starting to digitize more and more in that industry. R&D has already been digitized for at least a generation for that industry. 

And then all of us are trying to constantly deal with employee productivity, which is where the G&A investment and technology goes to. Frankly, I think we're failing miserably there. All this emphasis on productivity software has created anti-productivity software. All the productivity software is competing to give us more. None of them are optimized for the constraint, which is there's only so much time in the day to deal with it. So, in that case, I think more investment is absolutely not what's necessary, instead it's more optimal investments. And I would say the same is going to apply to the other ones as businesses get to this new state of digital enablement.
Director of Information Security in Energy and Utilities, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
I'd say we will have half the footprint in terms of headcount. Say what you will but automation+AI+ML will reduce some of the lower hanging fruits in IT (namely Helpdesk/JR sys admin type of roles). So the headcount most likely will be lower as you will also shift a lot of IT management to your MSP's and CSP's as well (so you will pay $'s associated with services but not have your local IT footprint).

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CTO in Software, 201 - 500 employees
Without a doubt - Technical Debt! It's a ball and chain that creates an ever increasing drag on any organization, stifles innovation, and prevents transformation.
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