The CIO of a midsize enterprise was sitting in an end-of-year executive meeting, listening to the CEO describe goals for the upcoming year. When the goals began to include items like gather better data on customers and move to the cloud, it became very clear that it was time for a major shift in how he approached his job.
Midsize enterprise (MSE) IT leaders need to shift from a reactive, internally focused technology role to one that provides IT services that enable business leaders to achieve their enterprise's digital business goals. But this is not without significant challenges.
“Budget, staffing and skills limitations disproportionately impact the ability of MSE IT leaders to meet the dynamic business demand for IT services,” says Mike Cisek, research director. “Fortunately, adaptive approaches and emerging technologies make it easier for MSEs to source and deliver business services quickly, even with relatively small teams.”
Cisek highlighted some of the technologies expected to have the highest benefit ratings for MSEs over the next 10 years in the Gartner Hype Cycle for Midsize Enterprises, 2017:
Adoption of an agile, cloud-inspired hybrid infrastructure
Hybrid cloud offers MSEs the best of both worlds — cost optimization, agility, flexibility, scalability and elasticity benefits of public cloud, together with control, compliance, security and reliability of private cloud. This approach offers the optimal economic model and maximum agility, setting the stage for new ways for enterprises to work with suppliers, partners and customers as they also move toward a hybrid cloud computing model.
Hyperconverged integrated systems (HCIS) enable IT to start from a small base and incrementally scale out as demand requires. Systems will continue to evolve with additional deliverables and broader vendor portfolios to address mixed workloads and hybrid cloud integration.
Optimal and advantageous use of "anything as a service" (XaaS)
Identity and access management as a service (IDaaS) is a predominantly cloud-based service using a multitenant or dedicated and hosted delivery model. IDaaS brokers core identity governance and administration, access management and analytics functions to target systems on customers' premises and in the cloud. Organizations are using IDaaS to fill gaps in enterprise identity and access management portfolios and staffing functions, and to achieve faster time to value.
Cloud unified communications (UC), also known as unified communications as a service (UCaaS), is provided over multitenant or virtualized infrastructure that is owned, maintained and hosted by the service provider. It enables organizations to outsource the delivery of telephony, mobility, IM, presence, messaging and meeting solutions and therefore reduce costs, focus on core competencies and allocate staff to focus on competitive differentiation.
Use of enhanced security detection and response capabilities
Cloud access security brokers consolidate multiple types of security policies including authentication, single sign-on, authorization, credential mapping, device profiling, data security (content inspection, encryption, tokenization), logging, alerting and malware detection/prevention. CASBs are uniquely positioned to enable organizations to achieve consistent security policies and governance across a range of cloud services.
Application security as a service is a delivery model through which application security services are delegated to third-party professional security providers that work remotely, typically via the internet, with a subscription-based pricing model. Examples include static application security testing, dynamic application security testing, interactive application security testing , mobile application security testing, application security analytics and web application firewalls.
Embracing of platforms that optimize operations and customer experience
Internet of Things (IoT) for customer service refers to smart or intelligent devices that contain sensors and communicate via edge computing, analytics and APIs to support proactive services for customer support. The added connectivity, communications and intelligence of things make it possible to monitor operations, status, service levels and many other metrics in the field and thus deliver a superior customer experience.
Knowledge management for customer service enables the creation, acquisition, storage, delivery and maintenance of corporate knowledge, information and data in a format that a web-based, self-service or mobile application can easily access, alongside the collection of knowledge from third-party websites, social media and hosted communities.
Exploitation of data and analytics to improve insight and decision making and deliver competitive differentiation, market intelligence and user context
Business users are demanding faster time to insight to remain competitive. Self-service data preparation tools enable users to reduce the time and complexity of interactively accessing, cataloging, harmonizing, transforming and modeling data for analytics in an agile manner with metadata and lineage support. Some tools support machine learning algorithms that can recommend, or even automate, actions to augment and accelerate data preparation.
Predictive analytics are techniques to analyze data, identify patterns and anticipate future scenarios that include simulation, statistical modeling, forecasting and machine learning. Supply chain organizations are striving to become more predictive to take advantage of potential upsides and alleviate impending disruptions in their supply chains. Adoption of predictive analytics is also driven by the availability of cloud-based solutions, while new techniques like machine learning and neural networks conduct more accurate analysis with little human intervention.