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  • It's important for business and IT leaders to evaluate all Internet of things options and approach IoT initiatives smartly and in a cost-conscious manner.

  • While a significant number of both IT and business decision-makers believe their company has secured a strong competitive advantage within their industry, they express caution about the likelihood of new disruptive tech radically changing this equation, according to a recent survey from Juniper Networks. The resulting report, "Will Your Company Survive the Next Big Disruption? IT as the Great Enabler," indicates that organizations would better position themselves for disruptive IT by elevating the tech-savvy quality of their C-suite. Most IT decision-makers, in fact, said the C-suite doesn't view the network as a vital component of company success. There's definitely a greater "need for speed" too, as many survey respondents said it takes a year or longer to develop and support an improved product or service. And business leaders admitted that they've circumvented IT to push through needed initiatives. "Business is changing fast," according to the report. "Even companies that believe they have a competitive edge today are at risk of falling behind. … Leadership is preoccupied with growing the customer base, keeping costs down, profitability and growth. At a time when disruptive products and services are the name of the game, it's become clear that doing 'enough' with your technology investment simply isn't enough to survive. … To remain relevant in the future, companies need to address impending disruption by rethinking their approach to IT for ongoing innovation." Much of the survey compares perspectives of IT and business decision-makers on these topics, and we've included a number of those findings. More than 2,700 global IT and business decision-makers took part in the research.

  • With digital disruption threatening revenue streams, a significant number of organizations are pursuing what's called "connected economy" initiatives, according to a recent survey from the Harvard Business Review and IBM. The resulting report, "The Ecosystem Equation: Collaboration in the Connected Economy," defines a connected economy (CE) as one that creates value through technology-enabled links between people, machines and organizations. The findings divide organizations into categories of "CE leaders" (ones that deploy CE business models or innovation to a significant extent) and "CE laggards" (ones that are not pursuing this approach). CE leaders are much more likely to achieve double-digit growth, with their senior executives taking an active role in driving digital business initiatives. Their IT departments are more engaged with other business areas than those at laggard companies. And CIOs are frequently considered "business innovators" and "organizational transformers" at CE leaders. "What really sets CE leaders apart is the degree to which they recognize the threat from digital disruption and the value of their IT leadership in bringing them into the connected economy," states the report. "That awareness is causing them to make digital initiatives a C-level priority. CE leaders have changed the relationship between IT and other parts of the business to a model based on collaborative engagement. They invest more in digital technology, skills and projects. And they are creating new digital transition teams, while at the same time emphasizing that digital is becoming part of everyone's job." More than 690 global IT, HR, operations, sales and marketing, and other managers took part in the research.

  • IT budgets and staff are expected to grow this year, according to a recent survey from the Hackett Group. The accompanying report, "The CIO Agenda: Balancing Risk, Cost and Innovation," explains that innovation is driving much of the spending increases, as many executive leaders consider that their top strategic priority. To achieve business objectives, these leaders said, IT must have the resources required to improve processes, boost analytics-focused capabilities and drive a digital transformation. Meanwhile, the tech department also needs to help their organization reduce risks, especially those related to IT issues such as network breaches. "Technology's strategic role in the business is dramatically expanding," said Scott Holland, principal and global IT advisory practice leader for the Hackett Group. "IT must truly transform itself to be effective in its new role, as it is being asked to develop and implement digital business transformation initiatives that dramatically change the way companies go to market. IT suddenly finds itself in the position to directly impact the bottom line, by designing and supporting new customer-facing systems that are often driven by technology innovations such as cloud-based infrastructure and applications, virtual business and technology networks, and business analytics." Executives representing nearly 180 large global enterprises took part in the research. 

  • Intelligent agents, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, intelligent software, expert systems and robotic devices will soon be common in the workplace.