It's easy to call 2018 the Year of Digital Transformation. But it was also the year of worrying about corporate security, data integrity—and ongoing concerns about receiving the most IT at the fastest rate possible.
Understandably, CIOs had their hands full in 2018.
SEE: Digital transformation in 2019: A business leader's guide to future challenges and opportunities (Tech Pro Research)
Here are five takeaways we learned during 2018 and how they will influence management in 2019:
1. Shadow IT is rapidly expanding
In 2018, research firm Gartner esteemed that shadow IT, where end users develop and deploy their own applications without help or knowledge from IT, received 30-40% of the overall IT spend in large enterprises. One year earlier, surveys uncovered that enterprises actually used 1,232 cloud apps on average, while their CIOs thought their organizations used between 30 and 40 cloud apps and services.
Takeaway: In 2019, CIOs must get on top of IT asset management and work harder to develop collaborative and information sharing strategies with end users. If they don't, the number of enterprise IT applications could spin out of control, exacerbating security and data quality risks.
2. Enabled by IoT, computing moves to the edge
Internet of Things (IoT) implementations proceeded cautiously in 2018. However, most companies did get a foothold into some kind of IoT that will pave the way for more robust IoT forays in 2019. They did it by moving sensors, devices, and servers away from central IT and into areas like manufacturing and facility management.
Takeaway: IoT and edge computing will soar in 2019. Since edge IT is away from central data centers, end users without IT experience will be called upon to operate and maintain these assets. This is an area where IT must fulfill its role as an IT asset tracker and security manager. Ensuring asset security will likely require zero trust networks along with user training in security policies and procedures.
SEE: Edge computing research report 2018: Implementation and investment grows across industries (Tech Pro Research)
3. Vendor management becomes a bigger job
As new technology is ushered in by IT or introduced through shadow IT, the ultimate responsibility for managing vendor relationships and contracts is going to IT.
Takeaway: With more IT outsourced to cloud vendors and others, IT in 2019 will continue to assume a growing role in vendor relationship management, contract tracking, and ensuring that SLAs are being met by vendors that conform to corporate requirements.
4. Security will stay at the top of CIO priority lists
Security breaches continue to headline the news in 2018 —and serve as a career threat to CSOs and CIOs. The impact to brand value, customer goodwill, and company reputation can be devastating following a breach—and malicious actors will continue their nefarious ways in 2019.
Takeaway: Data and system security will continue to be at the forefront of CIO goals in 2019. This includes securing edge computing and IoT, keeping up with shadow IT, encrypting and shutting downfield devices, implementing timely updates of software for security holes, and performing social engineering audits to assess how safe internal IT is from the acts of employees.
SEE: Vendor comparison tool: Cloud-based integrated management services (Tech Pro Research)
5. For digital transformation, it's time to take out the garbage
The "shiny" part of digital transformation is its ability to transform closets full of paper into neatly stored data on an in-house server or cloud and to inject newly digitalized data into business processes for process automation. Many companies successfully accomplished this in 2018. But then there is the other side to digitalizing data: What do you do with all the data?
Takeaway: In 2019, CIOs and data managers will decide what data is really needed—and what they can throw away. In the past, managers were reluctant to discard data—but with so much data streaming in, looking the other way and just paying for more for storage and cloud services will become financially and operationally untenable.
- 7 enterprise technology trends that will drive digital transformation in 2019 (TechRepublic)
- 6 digital trends spearheading business transformation in 2019 (TechRepublic)
- 5 ways cloud computing will change in the next year (TechRepublic)
- Edge computing: The state of the next IT transformation (ZDNet)
- AI, IoT, and edge computing drive cybersecurity concerns for 2019 (TechRepublic)
- Data center automation research report 2018: Despite growth in data, automation adoption remains slow (Tech Pro Research)
- Here are the 10 top tech trends you need to understand right now (ZDNet)
Mary E. Shacklett is president of Transworld Data, a technology research and market development firm. Prior to founding the company, Mary was Senior Vice President of Marketing and Technology at TCCU, Inc., a financial services firm; Vice President of Product Research and Software Development for Summit Information Systems, a computer software company; and Vice President of Strategic Planning and Technology at FSI International, a multinational manufacturing company in the semiconductor industry. Mary is a keynote speaker and has more than 1,000 articles, research studies, and technology publications in print.