By Laurie Vicente, CSMP | November 12, 2018


The onslaught of technological advances in recent history has impacted businesses significantly and has compelled IT leaders to consider digital transformations at an enterprise level. Such change has been exhaustive for the CIOs and other IT managers heading up these endeavors as orchestrating IT modernization efforts company-wide takes lengthy adoption of new processes, practices and people.

While 2018 has seen many businesses attempt (and struggle) to launch enterprise-level digital transformations, success has been seen when there exists a shift in technologies, skill sets and culture at the same time.

So, how has this enterprise-wide strategy fared so far and what changes are likely to come in 2019?

Well, for certain, CIOs and other IT leaders are looking for a more focused approach in the New Year – turning away from a blanket implementation of digital enhancements.

CIO.com recently published an article discussing this “Big Bang” approach and how it’s not likely sustainable for the long-term. Check out a summary of the Top 5 Digital Trends to Look for in 2019 below.

1. Move IT modernization to focused innovation.
Businesses are expected to move to a more methodical and iterative pace, with a measurement of ROI, return on innovation. Since transformation takes time – businesses are going back to the basics and taking baby steps. “Small, manageable chunks of innovation that deliver tangible benefits,” says the article’s author. This approach is expected to be more widely used among IT teams as there will be less disruption to the company as a whole as new technologies and strategies are implemented.

2. Bring back operational efficiency.
Not that the importance of operations has ever gone away, but in 2019 businesses will leverage tighter operations and best practices through digitizing. Without the flow of day-to-day efficiencies, digital transformations can’t truly be anchored in the business. Therefore, digitizing operations to improve service and cost will be a win-win for businesses and their customers alike. In the same breath, over-digitizing areas such as apps that aren’t generating value will be rethought.

3. Behold the Product Manager.
IT leaders are moving from project-based to product-based management. As this evolves, the role of the Product Manager will become as prevalent as it’s ever been. Individuals who can insert themselves into other areas of the business such as marketing or operations will be sought after, especially to offer innovation and mediation between functions. The Product Manager will be seen as key to a business’ IT modernization efforts.

4. Embrace data partners.
Thanks to APIs and other cloud technologies, businesses and IT leaders have been centered on building platform after platform, especially for customer-level interaction. However, in 2019, businesses will look to interact with other businesses and partners to transfer data just the same. The strategy will be to forge relationships within B2B platforms and allow for suppliers and distributors to help businesses and vice versa.

5. Automate processes with AI.
Even though Artificial Intelligence has been all the hype in 2018, IT leaders are expected to use it more in a digital capacity in 2019, automating and streamlining everyday projects. The more AI gets embedded within digital processes and tools, the more quick wins businesses will see – and less draw on money and resources. A more focused, tactical approach to AI through automation is a good plan of action for many IT leaders in the coming year.

What are some other digital trends you think we’ll be seeing in 2019? Comment below and let us know!


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