It’s that time of year when technology analysts make their predictions. This year we’re seeing a bumper crop of prophecies about the future of IT in 2019 and beyond. For example:
- IDC predicts that by 2023, 75% of IT spending will be on “third-platform” technologies (mobile, social media, cloud, big data, and IoT); 90% of enterprises will build “digital native” IT environments to thrive in the digital economy; and digital innovation will explode between 2018 and 2023.
- Gartner forecasts that cloud services will be the dominant driver of IT change in 2019, and the digital era will lead to more frictionless resource and service consumption and the shift to incremental cost models that are fueling cloud adoption.
- Forrester Research foresees that “the pace and diversity of technology — from the promise of AI to the reality of technical debt – will challenge [IT] prioritization and budgets.”
These are interesting and insightful predictions. However, Capgemini is seeing a change in IT that is more fundamental and directly relevant from an enterprise strategy perspective.
“Innovation Technology” is the new IT
IT is undergoing a seismic shift. The role, the boundaries, and even the definition of IT are expanding and evolving at an accelerating pace.
In 2019, forward-looking businesses and technology leaders will no longer view the IT organization as a cost center, a bureaucracy, or worse – the Ministry of No. The CXO will no longer see IT infrastructure as technological plumbing – servers, switches, routers, storage systems, and networks. Instead, executives will recognize that IT has become the enabler for innovation. The CXO will begin to see IT infrastructure as the catalyst for digital disruption. The applications and data managed by IT will provide the building materials for more innovative and secure applications, products, and services. The new IT organization will be the source of business-focused services that deliver:
- Superior experiences for customers, employees, partners, and suppliers so that the enterprise can improve loyalty, attract and retail top talent, and create more seamless interactions and transactions among business partners.
- Faster, more productive development of new apps and services through the adoption of cloud-based development environments, incorporation of microservices architectures, and more.
- Creation of an innovation culture across teams, business units, and geographies, enabled by superior IT infrastructure and service delivery.
- Higher productivity and job satisfaction among employees and contractors because IT is able to deliver on new mobility, BYOD, and remote access initiatives.
- Protection from cybersecurity threats without burdensome restrictions, disruptive processes, or performance degradation.
Reshaping enterprise strategy by embracing the new IT
In 2019, competitive enterprises will accelerate their efforts to realign IT around digital innovation. In so doing, they will enable business leaders to design strategic initiatives that are more nimble, more responsive to user needs, and more effective in delivering business value.
At the heart of this effort is the adoption of the latest technological advancements to accelerate digital transformation initiatives. Examples include:
- Automation everywhere: Automation isn’t just about cutting costs and increasing efficiency; it also accelerates innovation and can improve security. By speeding up time-consuming, error-prone manual processes – from infrastructure provisioning to cloud deployment to security policy enforcement – automation enables staff to focus their talents where it delivers the most business value and encourages more innovation, faster.
- Harnessing AI: The new IT will move beyond “contemplation of the possibilities” for AI to actual implementation of AI in innovative new services. In 2019, enterprises will begin to use AI as an interface for many consumer and business interactions, from smarter GPS apps, recommendation engines, and scheduling apps to global market analysis and forecasting services. AI will also enable enterprises to personalize and tailor services to individual needs at a whole new level.
- Extending the cloud to the edge and the endpoint: In 2019, more enterprises will use the cloud to bring applications, data, and IT services closer to customers at the network edge, thereby improving the performance of digital touchpoints. This shift will also facilitate the use of analytics by moving the data closer to the analysis engine. It will allow a wider range of endpoint devices to benefit from service improvements, including mobile devices that are not continuously connected to a network such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, and IoT sensors.
 “IDC FutureScape: Worldwide IT Industry 2019 Predictions,” IDC 2018.
 “2019 Planning Guide for Infrastructure and Operations, Gartner, October 5, 2018.
 “Predictions 2019: Transformation Goes Pragmatic,” Forrester Research 2018.