If you’re in the IT organization, you might want to stop and take a look around. You may not know it right now, but you’re smack in the middle of what might be the Golden Era of enterprise technology.
What makes this the Golden Era? For starters, it’s the realization by CEOs that technology is not only important, it’s crucial to their business and its future. Regardless of what industry they’re in. According to the 17th Annual CEO Survey from PwC, 81% of CEOs say technological advances will transform their business in the next five years. And while you might think that percentage would hold true in a tech-heavy industry like electronics, the CEOs in this survey span all industries and geographies – from a CEOs at a bank in Venezuela to one at a construction firm in Spain.
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It’s also the Golden Era of Enterprise IT because it’s clear that technology investment has a growth return. No longer is investment in new software considered a cost to avoid or cut. Today it’s an investment that drives value. This fact comes through clearly in PwC’s 2013 Innovation Survey, which shows clearly that companies are planning to invest in technology innovation more heavily than any other areas of business innovation.
One of the areas that is getting investment is collaboration technology. As the Innovation Survey points out, “The reality is that collaboration is one of the most important elements of successful innovation today, a result of the pace of technological change as well as the explosion of specializations around the world.”
And that IT-supported collaboration is both internal and external. As the CEO Survey points out, “The digital revolution has given birth to a new generation of consumers who want ever more accessible, portable, flexible and customized products, services and experiences. They expect to move seamlessly – in real time– between the physical and virtual worlds. And they’re prepared to disclose quite a lot about themselves to achieve their desires.”
If new consumers want more customized offerings, companies need to understand what those new offerings are and how to market them to their niche consumer bases. So it’s no surprise that in PwC’s 6th Digital IQ Survey, one of the key behaviors that will accelerate value from digital investment is a strong CIO-CMO relationship. (By the way, the first behavior that was cited was the CEO championing digital.)
The Digital IQ survey points out that, “The CIO-CMO relationship is so important because a great many digital technology initiatives like those for mobile apps or customer analytics are driven by marketing needs. The growth in digital marketing spending, often independent of IT, has led to debate among industry analysts whether the marketing organization will soon yield more spending power than the IT department. Companies in our study say that just under half (47%) of their company’s IT spend is outside of the CIO’s budget.”
But with so much collaboration going on between customers and internal colleagues, there are security concerns arising. According to PwC’s Global State of Information Security survey, “The increase in incidents combined with a concurrent rise in the volume of business data being shared digitally results in an unsurprising finding: Proliferating data loss. This year, 24% of respondents reported loss of data as a result of security incidents, a hike of 16% over 2012.”
So what’s going to solve those security concerns? More enterprise technology! The Global State of Information Security survey goes on to point out that “substantial increases in security funding are a good sign for security efforts. While budgets vary significantly across industries and by company size, overall respondents say security budgets average $4.3 million this year, a 51% gain over 2012.”
It really is a good time to be in IT. Enjoy it. You’re in the driver’s seat today, bringing enterprises down the road until the next stop.