Posted by:Nithin Rao January 19th, 2016

The year past has left CIOs with mistakes made, lessons learnt and plans on the anvil. And with 2016 rolling in, CIOs have a formidable task list ahead of them. With rapidly emerging technologies, it has become imperative for CIOS to leverage new technologies like social, mobile, cloud and analytics while protecting their existing IT investments. So, what then would their to-do list look like? Here’s a look-

1) Welcoming wearables and IoT:

With the much touted Apple Watch and its Android counterparts, wearables are beginning to make an impact on not only the consumer scene, but also the enterprise. Companies are now looking to wearables to be used in tasks varying from getting notifications on the go to inventory management, geo location, directions and more.It has forced executives to rethink user interaction patterns, user experience, workflows and to adopt design thinking as part of their strategy.

Case in point is Salesforce, a wearable’s keynote partner at Apple’s conference. They have released a bundle of 20 new applications that run on the Apple Watch. These apps include a plethora of users from helping field employees look up customer profiles to tracking project tasks.

Wearable technology, including smartwatches, smart glass and more are something that will increasingly find a place in the enterprise and CIOs need to make sure they are ready to handle employee demands for support.

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2) Mobile Security :

With BYOD having made so many inroads into today’s enterprise and a growing demand for support from employees and customers for support on mobile devices of their choice, mobile security has been a topic of concern for CIOs the past year.

With wearables joining this list, the number of employees accessing calendars, mail, sensitive corporate data and files will only increase. Paired with mobile payments, one time passwords and authentication present a more worrying trend with malware that can attack mobile platforms.

Another worrying trend is customers who tend to shy away from mobile apps  from companies who have already experienced a security breach or companies with apps that require confidential personal and identifying data. CIOs should prioritize security and work with app developers to build understand how these apps integrate with and collect data from enterprise systems at run time and build robust encryption into the app. IT teams need to track malicious user behavior, have a system for immediate notifications of potential threats and have a system of blocking user access.

Companies like VMware have partnered with Intel Security to provide a solution to detect data threats and provide timely data protection for customers using their Enterprise Mobility Management platform. Alliances like these and the number of vendors in the marketplace providing services to help enterprise meet mobile security challenges will only increase.

3) Big Data and Analytics:

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The world of Big Data is only getting bigger. Every organization knows the importance of drawing insights from the ever-increasing amount of data collected from devices, wearables, social media, transaction histories, customer feedback data and more. Data is now a primary business asset and companies like IBM have already announced their push in to the cognitive area and how Watson would have a transformative impact in making sense of all things big data. Designed to leverage the massive amount of data collected today, these cognitive systems analyze the information and most importantly, learn from these interactions, thus enabling enterprises to take make better decisions.

CIOs should train teams to look at data in context, draw insights and use them to improve businesses.Comments on social media, feedback left, aligning marketing campaigns, sales data are all potential clues to making better decisions, solving business challenges and reacting to market changes. And this is something critical that the CIO should implement in 2016.

4) Finding The Right Mobile Development Talent:

Gartner predicts that demand for enterprise mobile apps will outstrip available development capacity five to one.

The need for enterprise apps is increasing. And with business users demanding consumer like quality, design and user interactions from enterprise apps too, the demand for skilled mobile app development teams is on the rise. Experienced iOS and Android app developers, skilled user experience specialists, design thinkers, mobile quality assurance teams are all needed to design, develop, test and launch enterprise- ready apps.

In addition, technical teams capable of integrating these apps with the existing IT systems in the company are crucial. And lets face it, talent is scare. With a growing clamor for apps, CIOs will have to find creative ways to train internal teams, retain skilled mobile talent as well as work with third party mobile app development companies to meet this demand.

5) Reusability:

While each of the previous four points assume criticality in a CIO’s to-do list for 2016, there is one challenge that ties in all of this together. Companies have made investments over the years in established back-end enterprise systems and softwares. One big challenge that CIOs face, regardless of enterprise size and age is protecting this investment and making sure that any emerging technology seamlessly blends in with the current environment.

While enterprise mobility, wearables, IoT and other disruptive technologies are key enablers, organizations will have to redefine their technology architecture, workflows and operating processes to integrate these new technology initiatives and make a success of it .

Make sure you check the CIO’s to-do list for 2016.Click on the image below to download your copy!

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