IDC’s 2017 CIO predictions: IT will monetize data, CIOs will recognize traditional IT limits

In the coming year, more CIOs should be on the lookout for new ways to monetize data.

That’s one of the top concerns from global market intelligence and research firm IDC. The analyst group recently released its annual report, IDC FutureScape: Worldwide CIO Agenda 2017 Predictions, which includes 10 predictions specific to CIOs over the next 36 months. And CIO leadership and the impact of digital transformation weigh heavily in their forecasts.

“By now, we’re all familiar with digital transformation and its onslaught on projects and resources,” said Joseph Pucciarelli, IDC’s group vice president. “We are now beginning to experience how these changes will impact future product development.”

Prediction 1: Data gets monetized

At the top of IDC’s industry prediction list is the need for CIOs to further productize data and information. By 2019, 40 per cent of IT projects will create new digital services and revenue streams that monetize data.

Courtesy IDC 2016
Courtesy IDC 2016

Based on this forecast, IDC recommends that CIOs “focus on [new methods of] data monetization, productization, real-time orchestration, and service innovation,” while also looking at current systems to see where they can leverage that data for business purposes.

To prepare CIOs and their organizations for new monetization methods, IDC offers a few implementation suggestions, including:

  • Build a cohesive organization-wide strategy for data productization.  
  • Put an innovation team in place that’s comprised of IT and business employees that review current and potential systems/applications that could be monetized.  
  • Create information architecture to include internal and external data sources to enable instantaneous data analysis and market intelligence.  
  • Establish a strong governance with full stakeholder involvement and a full range of automated policies.

In addition to this prediction that tops IDC’s list, the FutureScape CIO Agenda also offered several other forecasts worth noting.

Prediction 2: The outside-in perspective

IDC says that by 2018, 65 per cent of IT organizations will create new customer-facing and ecosystem-facing services to meet the business digital transformation needs.

To help CIOs get there, IDC recommends adopting more of an “outside-in” perspective — dedicate more of their focus more on user-friendly development and design.

This initiative requires that information executives get a deeper understanding of their wider business’ ecosystems, as well as the organization’s outside customers and partners.

Prediction 3: What’s holding CIOs back from leadership roles?

Many CIOs are still struggling to obtain leadership roles in enterprise digital transformation.

The FutureScape report shows that 40 per cent of CIOs will be left out of such leadership levels due to their own absence of “vision, credibility, or ability to influence” stakeholders within their organization.

“CIOs and IT executives need to expand their roles in order to advance the digital transformation of their business,” said Serge Findling, IDC’s vice president of research. “However, they will first need to establish their credibility and demonstrate that IT can deliver at the right speed and with competency.”

Prediction 4: Understanding traditional IT limitations

According to the report, by 2019, 75 per cent of CIOs will recognize the limitations of traditional IT and embrace a leadership approach that embodies a virtuous cycle of innovation.

IDC says IT departments must set an example as “technology transformation engines” — to iterate and innovate for their departments and all relevant stakeholders. And for CIOs, they may need to lean on entrepreneurial leadership styles to accomplish this innovation-led strategy.

Prediction 5: Digital transformation via line of business technology

Based on the findings of the FutureScape research, CIOs will need to combine their digital transformation goals with line of business (LOB) technology to move their initiatives forward. Almost half (40 per cent) of CIOs will advance their digital transformation initiatives by building organizational linkages with LOB technology teams and across IT organizational silos by 2018.

This move will help empower major changes in thinking, culture, and practices within their company.

IDC analysts recommend CIOs review the forecasts and strategically implement them based on their business needs. 

“When planning for the future and creating their strategy, CIOs must account for the arising and optimal timing,” Findling said. “Some predictions must be addressed immediately because of urgent issues such as risk management and security.”


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Lindsey Peacock
Lindsey Peacock
Lindsey Peacock is a freelance writer, editor and American expat based in Toronto. This proud Atlanta native has written for a variety of news and business publications across North America, including Business in Vancouver, BCBusiness magazine, Fort McMurray Today and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Blogging, sweet tea and black-and-white movies are a few of her favourite things.

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