Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 35 | Page 36

FEATURE: 2020, THE CIO’S PRIORITY year’s annual ICT skills survey shows that even as 5,000 immigrants enter the country annually to fill key roles, just as many practitioners emigrated. CIOs are challenged to find ways to maximise the talent they currently have while investing in skills development via in-job training or CSI initiatives to bolster the ICT industry as a whole. /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// customer data from various platforms to provide a more cohesive and personalised experience. Businesses today are in a constant state of flux, and companies in every industry face a multitude of challenges. CIOs, though, are in the best position to implement game-changing technology that puts their companies in the best position moving forward. into one that helps deliver on business strategy. Providing the impetus to affect this change is the growing digitalisation of business. Technology is no longer limited to software and infrastructure support. It now permeates every facet of the organisation. As we head into 2020, several key imperatives will frame this change. Digital meets cloud CIOS OVERSEEING A TECHNOLOGY REFRESH AT THEIR ORGANISATION SHOULD TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HOW DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IS BEING STREAMLINED. Just as they bring a new level of reliability to cybersecurity, cloud-based autonomous systems help to alleviate the headache of skills shortage and boost productivity. Self-driving, self-securing and self-repairing systems eliminate manual database management, liberating database administrators and others from mundane tasks when they can be putting their expertise to better use in generating business value. IAN JANSEN VAN RENSBURG, LEAD TECHNOLOGIST FOR SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA AT VMWARE This is where modern cloud-native applications built with the Kubernetes open source container-orchestration system become an important asset. By being able to leverage from the high-performance computing capabilities of the cloud through these applications, CIOs can bring their business ideas to life. These more sophisticated technologies also make using a multi-cloud strategy a more effective way of addressing business challenges. Data’s impact on Customer service Customer experience is one of the most powerful differentiators. Organisations must be able to mine actionable insights from the myriad information entering the business. Few companies have the manpower to “crunch” this information/ data, and provide an expected real-time response, especially as they strive to streamline their staff contingent. The cost-effective solution is data management and analytics tools with built-in Machine Learning capabilities. At Oracle, we predict that 85% of all interactions will be automated by 2025. Right now, globally, 89% of people use voice assistants for customer service, and 69% of enterprises have chatbots integrated into their customer service functions. As our Generation 2 Cloud kicks off, more data-first options bring together 36 INTELLIGENTCIO It all starts with the digital strategy. CIOs must carefully consider how digitalisation is not only impacting the company but also its stakeholders. The connected environment revolves around creating a smooth user experience across multiple touchpoints. So, while it is easy to be tempted by simply rolling out the latest and greatest technology, there must be a strategic reason behind it. Getting to grips with the business case of technology is therefore a priority. If it makes sense to implement, then the technology must be embraced, and solutions developed around it to maximise the investment made. Ian Jansen van Rensburg Changing corporate mindsets and learning how to effectively leverage disruption will frame the CIO agenda in 2020. To manage this, they must be at the forefront of the business challenges their companies face, understand the financial implications, and link everything back to digital imperatives. All businesses want to grow their profitability, be more competitive, protect their brand, nurture customer trust, and be more innovative. Fundamental to tying these elements together is a CIO willing to transition from solely being a technologist To optimally use this multi-cloud environment, the CIO must understand the costing models, the solutions that best integrate into the current corporate strategy and identify the areas where it will be possible to save the most money. Cost optimisation is a vital benefit especially when it comes to using edge computing technologies to supplement existing data capturing, analysis, and intelligence. Part of this relies on the Internet of Things and making better sense of the data at hand as well as how to optimise products and services at the edge. Next year will see a significant focus on decentralising computing resources with the edge becoming essential in this regard.