McKinsey: How CIOs can Navigate Emerging Technology Trends

With topics such as AI and security topping the lists of tech trends, McKinsey has identified four ways to help CIOs successfully navigate these trends

From advances in AI to cybersecurity and developments in quantum computing, today’s technology landscape is undoubtedly complex, with trends continuing to evolve at speed. 

But, according to McKinsey & Company, not all trends are created equally. The ability to swiftly assess business trends and convey their significance to the business has become a vital skill for today's Chief Information Officers (CIOs). Yet, evaluating trends and deciding on the appropriate level of engagement is rarely straightforward.

CIOs require a clear framework for evaluating trends and determining the appropriate approach: whether to be a first mover, fast follower, slow adopter, or non-participant.

With this in mind, McKinsey has created a four-point guide to help CIOs navigate technology trends and help determine whether a trend is worth pursuing.

Four points to help CIOs navigate emerging technology trends

Clearly one of the top technological trends in recent years has been the rise of generative AI, but other trends such as cloud computing, blockchain and extended reality have each had impacts on the business landscape.

According to a McKinsey report authored by Oliver Bossert, Gérard Richter and Klaas Ole Kürtz, there are many reasons why attempts to turn a promising trend into a profitable one for any given business may fail: ranging from insufficient talent to leadership nonalignment. 

According to its report, McKinsey has found four trends that add value have inherent attributes that make them particularly valuable to any business:

  • Disruptive Business Value: Does the trend offer tangible value to the business, or is it merely a superficial improvement? It's crucial to ascertain whether the benefits extend beyond IT and whether they are significant and measurable.
  • Independence: Can the trend enable the organisation to operate in smaller, more autonomous units? Assessing the potential for modularity and reducing interdependencies is essential for evaluating a trend's viability.
  • Connectivity: While independence is valuable, a trend that isolates or fragments the organisation is counterproductive. Enhancing connectivity without creating excessive dependencies is critical for driving impact at scale.
  • Extensibility: Does the trend have the potential to reshape and enhance the organisation's technology landscape comprehensively? True innovation transcends isolated changes and extends across the entire IT estate, impacting both technology and operations.

McKinsey highlights that each of these factors plays a crucial role in determining whether a trend is worth pursuing. While not every trend may excel across all parameters, identifying any significant shortcomings is essential before committing substantial resources.

“The call on whether and how to adopt a trend is not a one-time decision,” the report authors write. “It requires continual review as technology matures and evolves, new implementation models and supporting services scale, or the market situation shifts. But CIOs who use the four parameters as a compass to determine relevance and think through their engagement options can better guide their organisations toward turning trends into value.”

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“The call on whether and how to adopt a trend is not a one-time decision,” the report authors write. “It requires continual review as technology matures and evolves, new implementation models and supporting services scale, or the market situation shifts. But CIOs who use the four parameters as a compass to determine relevance and think through their engagement options can better guide their organisations toward turning trends into value.”

******

Make sure you check out the latest edition of Technology Magazine and also sign up to our global conference series - Tech & AI LIVE 2024

******

Technology Magazine is a BizClik brand

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