‘Every business unit is now a technology start-up’: Gartner

Gartner calls on CIOs to prepare for seismic technology forces at work that will create permanent, structural changes.

The analyst firm predicts worldwide IT spending to surpass US$3.9 trillion in 2015, a 3.9 per cent increase from 2014, and much of this spending will be driven by the digital industrial economy.

Since 2013, Gartner estimates 650 million new physical objects have come online. 3D printers became a billion dollar market; 10 per cent of automobiles became connected; and the number of chief data officers and chief digital officer roles have doubled.

Next year, all of these things will double again, says Gartner, which released the figures at its annual symposium in the United States.

“This year enterprises will spend over $40 billion designing, implementing and operating the Internet of Things,” says Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president, and global head of research at Gartner.

The new digital startups in your business units are thirsting for data analysts, software developers and cloud vendor management staff. Peter Sondergaard, Gartner

“Every piece of equipment, anything of value, will have embedded sensors. This means leading asset-intensive enterprises will have over half a million IP addressable objects in 2020.”

Sondergaard says there is a shift of demand and control away from IT and toward digital business units closer to the customer.

“Thirty-eight per cent of total IT spend is outside of IT already, with a disproportionate amount in digital. By 2017, it will be over 50 per cent,” he states.

“Digital startups sit inside your own organisation, in your marketing department, in HR, in logistics and in sales. Your business units are acting as technology startups.”

Gartner estimates that 50 per cent of all technology sales people are actively selling direct to business units, not IT departments. Millions of sales people, and hundreds of thousands of resellers and channel partners are looking for new money flows in the fluid digital world, and they are finding eager buyers.

Digital businesses will impact jobs in different ways, says Gartner. By 2018, digital businesses will require 50 per cent fewer business process workers. However, by 2018 digital business will drive a 500 per cent boost in digital jobs.

“The new digital startups in your business units are thirsting for data analysts, software developers and cloud vendor management staff, and they are often hiring them fast than IT. They may be experimenting with smart machines, seeking technology expertise IT often doesn't have,” states Sondergaard.

“You must build talent for the digital organisation of 2020 now. Not just the digital technology organisation, but the whole enterprise. Talent is the key to digital leadership. Build credibility and build the two-speed organisation.”

Gartner says the current hottest skills CIOs must hire or outsource are: Mobile, user experience, and data sciences.

Three years from now, the hottest skills will be in smart machines (including the Internet of Things), robotics, automated judgment and ethics.

Over the next seven years, Gartner predicts a surge in new specialised jobs. These include integration specialists, digital business architects, regulatory analysts and risk professionals.

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Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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