A blueprint is something intended as a guide for making something else. It is a design that can be followed to make whatever you plan to make. Want to build an awesome tree house in your back garden? Draw up a blueprint of the tree house you envision and then follow this design as carefully as you can.
In business, it’s equally important to create a blueprint of what you want to achieve, be it over the next week, month or year. As 2018 draws to a close, many businesses may be starting to slow down but now is actually the perfect time to get all your ducks in a row and take another look at your business strategy in preparation for the new year.
To help you keep the momentum going, even though the world may be starting to freewheel into 2019, we’ve put together a short list of actions CIOs can take, today.
Take a look.
Action #1: Put your customers first
From apps and social media to bots and wearables – modern customers are interacting with brands in a multitude of ways. In order for businesses to leverage this, they need to offer seamless, enjoyable experiences across a variety of touch points. “Consumer expectations are at an all-time high, and the bar will keep rising through 2020,” explains Jamie Erbes, a technical director for Google Cloud. The businesses that find success will come up with a business strategy that successfully leverages the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), as well as virtual and augmented reality to offer more immersive experiences.
Action #2: Automate
Research and Markets predicts that the market for machine learning and AI will reach $5 billion come 2020. This figure is up from $420 million in 2014. Why does this matter? Well, the automation of capabilities brought about by growth in machine learning and AI are endless. For Scott Penberthy, a technical director for Google Cloud, because businesses are already producing so much data, it makes sense to use AI to analyse this information, figure out what’s happening, feed it back into the business and respond in a matter of minutes instead of months. Everything just keeps getting smarter and smarter, he continues.
Action #3 Change the face of IT
IT must be run as a business within the business. Because technology has become such an instrumental part of every enterprises, it hardly makes sense for your IT team to be limited to handling PC issues and software updates. “CIOs have it in their power to make IT fast, frictionless, and empowering. They need to shift their focus from keeping things running and cutting costs to helping employees become more efficient, productive, and collaborative, while creating an environment for innovation. The key is to give them awesome tools and great resources, and then get out of their way,” notes Max Saltonstall, another technical director at Google Cloud.
Action #4 Embrace the public cloud
The public cloud offer agility, flexibility and the hardiness needed to handle different applications and massive amounts of data. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) from 2016 to 2020, worldwide spending on public cloud services will more than double, reaching $195 billion. “We’ve all heard it before, but I’ll say it again: Now is the time to run, not walk, to the public cloud,” says Penberthy. “Cloud solutions are smarter and faster, and many also include cutting-edge security features that use artificial intelligence to stay ahead of new threats.”
Now is the time for CIOs to start writing the next chapter for their businesses. Getting this right means staying ahead of all the trends affecting your industry. If you need help doing so, our monthly newsletter is a valuable resource. Packed with insights about everything from business strategy and digitalisation to telecoms, you can sign up for it by completing the form below.