Top five 2016 IT Predictions for CIOs:  Bask Iyer, VMware

According to VMware’s CIO Bask Iyer, how a business engages IT directly correlates to the success of that business. However, “If you’re looking for a pat on the back as an IT professional, you’re better off looking for a new profession,” said an ebullient Iyer.

Thankless as the IT profession has been, it is turning a corner of late. Now IT can be a business differentiator rather than just the resource that makes sure the flow of email continues uninterrupted. The reasons for this transition are numerous, but Iyer laid some of them out with his predictions on where the enterprise IT industry is headed in 2016.

Iyer’s perspective comes from being in the IT industry for nearly three decades at stops including Juniper Networks and Honeywell, where he served as CIO at both.

Bask Iyer’s Top 5 Predictions

1. Input from CIOs will become more critical and sought after, internally and externally. Iyer expects more CIOs to report directly to CEOs. “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.” The modern IT perspective will also be valuable to company boards grappling with risks around modern threats, such as cybersecurity.

2. Cloud computing will go beyond picking low-hanging fruits. Businesses will need to use cloud computing as a differentiator, not just as a tool for cutting costs. They will grapple with issues such as business continuity and disaster recovery. CIOs will be looking to build robust private clouds and tools to seek enterprise flexibility while avoiding vendor lock-ins.

3. Really useful enterprise mobile apps will emerge. The focus of enterprise apps will shift to really useful apps that simplify business workflow and increase productivity, while still delivering a consumer-like experience.

4. The economics of SaaS will require re-examination. The staggering annual recurring costs of some of the older SaaS solutions will force IT organizations to consider newer SaaS vendors or on-prem solutions.

5. Automation will start to take the place of “offshoring.” In the past, to improve cost effectiveness and business efficiency, tasks were sent offshore to markets where labor was less expensive. Going forward, focus will be more on automation and removal of labor rather than labor arbitrage.

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