In the spirit of Moore’s law, average isn’t good enough. And I’d give myself a solid C—an average grade for what came of my 2016 predictions. Basically, we’ve got some work to do. While I don’t think any of my past predictions were wrong, we definitely haven’t seen the potential of these predictions come to fruition.
As I said last year, “If you’re looking for a pat on the back as an IT professional, you’re better off looking for a new profession.” With that in mind, I accepted the role as CIO of Dell Technologies in addition to my position within VMware.
Interconnection across business practices remains a stalwart principle. So while we continue our work to accelerate digital business transformation, here’s how my prior predictions played out.
1. INPUT FROM CIOs WILL BECOME MORE CRITICAL AND SOUGHT AFTER, INTERNALLY AND EXTERNALLY.
2016: The modern CIO blends business savvy with technical acumen, providing valuable insight into not only how to do something more effectively and efficiently but also how to push the limits of technology to do something new and revolutionary.
2017: Once stereotyped as a mere cost center instead of a business leader, the role of CIO is continuing to evolve. In many companies, CIOs are now given P&L responsibilities. They are like just another business-unit leader, expected to lead emerging growth areas. In other words, CIOs now have a seat at the table; we’re in “the room where it happens.”
2. CLOUD COMPUTING WILL GO BEYOND PICKING LOW-HANGING FRUITS.
2016: CIOs will be looking to build robust private clouds and tools to seek enterprise flexibility while avoiding vendor lock-ins.
2017: Companies will need to learn to manage, network, orchestrate, and secure data across several public clouds and their own private cloud—all while enabling the freedom to innovate across clouds.
3. REALLY USEFUL ENTERPRISE MOBILE APPS WILL EMERGE.
2016: Enterprise apps will shift toward simplifying business workflow and increasing productivity.
2017: Consumer-simple, enterprise-secure. This is an ongoing drumbeat within VMware. Where business has often been behind the times in terms of creating applications that are truly built for mobile (rather than just “mobile-enabled”), consumer demand has charged ahead. So what’s necessary to enable truly useful enterprise apps? We need to enhance the end-user experience and simplify IT management while preserving the reliability and security aspects required for business-critical applications. And we started with ourselves—by creating mobile-first apps for our employees.
4. THE ECONOMICS OF SOFTWARE AS A SERVICE (SaaS) WILL REQUIRE REEXAMINATION.
2016: Budgets will force IT organizations to consider newer SaaS vendors or on-prem solutions.
2017: Mobile apps and cloud-native apps will dominate new software development projects. This will further encourage a DevOps and mobile-first mindset.
5. AUTOMATION WILL START TO TAKE THE PLACE OF “OFFSHORING.”
2016: Focus will be more on automation and removal of labor rather than labor arbitrage.
2017: Automation enables us to move away from the prospect of who can push buttons accurately, and allows us to focus on more strategic priorities. It will shift many jobs further upstream in the supply chain, focusing on knowledge and new skills we must acquire.
In short, not prescient, but definitely in tune with the evolution of our industry. Follow along with my predictions from this year to see how I do in 2017.