It’s a new year and as we prepare for 2018 programs, we are spending time speaking with Customer Advisory Board (CAB) members and learning their most pressing issues for this year. The top 3 topics are not surprising to us; while we have been hearing from leaders on these areas for some time, their relevance on executives’ agendas has only increased.
Security is perennially top of mind, and CAB members across clients and programs recommend that this topic be on at least one CAB meeting agenda per year. Not surprisingly, Chief Information Officers we spoke with shared that security is critical for the whole organization, not just the CISO and the C-suite.
Cloud rises to the top yet again this year. IDC just forecast worldwide public cloud spending to reach $160B in 2018, up 23.2% from 2017. During conversations with CIOs, we hear that established organizations that have not yet made the shift are looking to modernize their legacy infrastructure and move to more cloud-based platforms, and in doing so, transform their economics and gain scale. Additionally, industries that that are highly regulated and that have traditionally shied away from cloud, are making moves and will be spending on SaaS for non-core functionality.
Data and Analytics
Organizations are awash with data. CIOs share that their challenge is not getting more data, but maximizing the value and insights derived from the data that already is in place. Executives also note a need to shift the skills of the wider organization to be more data focused. Also top of mind for CIOs is uncovering ways to monetize the vast amounts of data their organizations have, utilizing data to deliver personalized customer experiences, and using data as a source of competitive differentiation.
As we move through the year, it will be fascinating to see which topics continue to remain at the top and what new business and technology areas will come into play.