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According to a technology business research firm that carried out a survey, nearly 40% of the line of business executives look at the CIO as a top management official who drives innovation and is responsible for leading all delivery services.
Evolving CIOs role
The CIO’s role has been evolving over the years and has come under quite a bit of scrutiny. The job of CIO has become increasingly difficult, especially in the digital era — there is immense pressure to boost business growth while optimising resources and cost and innovating constantly. All this has left CIOs flat-footed, trying to catch up with the emerging markets and customer demands and the need to integrate innovations rather than driving them.
In today’s context, the CIO’s role is to help enterprises identify apt technology, based on business needs and strategy, select, test it out and subsequently deploy the same. It is also the CIO’s responsibility to address the growing digital technology that is driving digital transformation which will enable the enterprise to be more efficient, productive, become self-servicing and cost effective.
The year 2020
2020 has been a year of disruption. While many business leaders are used to some level of change,the COVID-19 scenario has impacted the world in ways no one could have predicted. This in turn has pushed organizations to pivot, strategize, device new strategies, adapt and change to suit the new norm.
The trends that have created quite a shift in 2020 are around three main themes,
Garnter has listed nine top strategic technology trends that CIOs need to take into account in the coming year. [Source: Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo Americas conference]
1: Internet of Behaviors [IoB]
The Internet of Behaviors is a term coined in Gartner’s tech predictions for 2020 and is an emerging trend. It essentially captures the “digital dust” from across sources and the information is used to gain insight into customer behaviour and lifestyle patterns. The data could be from a range of sources, including social media. IoB is built-in with capabilities that can not only gather the data, but also draw insight from them. Telematics and Connected wearables are one aspect of IoB where insurers use data captured from various sources to help them personalise products to customers and offer discounts as well.
2. Total Experience [TX]
First came customer experience [CX], then came digital transformation and now it extends to multi experience (MX), employee experience (EX) and user experience (UX) as well, ensuring all parties have a high level of experience. Having a strong TX strategy in place with interactions going digital -mobile, virtual and across channels will help beat competition across the satisfaction metrics in the next few years.The CIO’s priority is all about adopting new systems related to technology, people and solutions.
3: Cybersecurity Mesh
This is a trend that is going to take prominence in the coming years. Cybersecurity mesh technology trend enables users to access any digital asset security, irrespective of where the asset is, or where the user is based at. For this to happen, in 2021, CIOs will change how they work. This indicates reaching a peak level in security that influences customers’ decision making with reference to a policy. With a good security process in place, insurers can assure the clients and build trust as well, which in turn will boost sales and create a steady security perimeter around the individual instead of just around the organization.
4. Distributed Cloud
Cloud computing has already begun making its way into insurance enterprises. In 2021, distributed cloud will be the trend to watch out for. It provides public cloud options across locations [physical]. This concept of cloud operates, maintains and evolves the services offered, and it helps with latency issues, apart from resolving any challenges related to the privacy regulations [those requiring data to remain in a set geographical location]. Customers benefit from this cloud system as it helps do away with complicated systems and save cost associated with private cloud solutions.
5. Intelligent Composable Business [ICB]
This trend is associated with leveraging applications and packaged business capabilities, which are basically clusters of functionality that is accessible through APIs. ICB brings together elements such as better access to data and improved decision making that will alter the way insurers carry out business, and how they deliver service to the customers. The CIO tackles this by improving decision-making capabilities and reducing the time taken for the same.
6. Anywhere Operations
Anywhere operations as the name goes is all about offering support to customers from anywhere and at any time. The solutions will enable insurers to manage and stay connected to their customers irrespective of location or device across the digital distributed infrastructure. Going remote is the way forward, and while it poses a few challenges, it is going to be the way ahead to offering high levels of experiences to customers. Seamless, streamlined and scalable digital experience starts with a shift in technology and management practices, and governance along with engagement models and these are areas where the CIO plays a crucial role.
Gartner has listed Hyperautomation as a key trend that is going to revolutionize the business of insurance in the years to come. The journey has already begun, and it is going to evolve. By automating repetitive processes, incorporating Robotic Process Automation, insurance enterprises can accomplish streamlined systems. The trend we are likely to see is going to the move from task based automation, to process based automation, thereby integrating automation across a number of tasks to increase efficiency across functionalities, and this will lead to automation at the ecosystem level. So the breadth of automation is slowly expanding beyond what we knew as hyperautomation.
8. Artificial Intelligence [AI]
Integrating an effective AI based strategy will help optimise overall performance, scalability, and reliability while delivering the full value of investments in AI. The three core pillars of AI engineering are: DataOps, ModelOps and DevOps. Among the three, DevOps deals with high-speed code changes, but with AI in place, there will be an improvement in code, models and data. Organizations will have to rely on the DevOps principles and implement into the data pipeline for DataOps and utilise machine learning model capabilities for MLOps to enjoy the full benefits of AI engineering.
9. Privacy-Enhancing Computation
Above all, the most valuable trend we are likely to see among CIOs in 2021 is “Privacy”. Gartner predicts that by 2025, over half of large organizations will choose to implement privacy-enhancing computation into their systems. This will work towards better processing of data, especially those from untrusted environments. Privacy-enhancing computation offers data security while ensuring secrecy or privacy.
Irrespective of what changes arise in the global market, CIOs are here to stay within small enterprises and large businesses. But they will have to add more value to the business and stay relevant with new technology that proves their presence and role.
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