Forward-thinking CIOs set three-year plans because they must not only think strategically, but also be visionary. With that in mind, many are already looking to the future and thinking about what they, their IT departments and their business will need in 2025. Todd Cassidy, CIO at Capital One, is such: “We are constantly looking ahead to make sure we’re ready for the future,” he says.
At tendenciestendenciesthat affect its three-year roadmap, it includes, for example, technical developments in the world of work, but also progress in areas such as cloud computingcloud computingmachine learning and open-sourceopen-source. It also evokes the desire for more agility in IT and the need for continuous training. “CIOs need to be able to ride the wave of innovation, not only taking advantage of technological advancements, but also arming their IT organizations to implement change faster,” he recommends.
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IT managers, business leaders and consultants all recognize that predicting the future is usually difficult. Unpredictability is normal and can thwart even solid plans, like the COVID pandemic in 2020 and the Great Recession a good decade earlier. Nonetheless, many managers report that they continue to plan ahead and use available information to develop plausible estimates for 2025.
According to the content, CIOs are predestined for such predictions because technology and business are now closely intertwined. “To continue to drive value, IT leaders need to step up their digital transformation efforts, and it’s important that CIOs take the lead,” said Irving Tyler, research vice president at Gartner.
Market watchers and CIOs assume that many of the young technologies currently in use will mature in the coming years. Also, some technologies that they are currently only observing or testing are expected to become mainstream by 2025. From their perspective, this is more of an evolution than a revolution, so most critical enterprise technologies for 2025 are already known. For example, some experts claim that their three-year roadmaps have a strong cloud bias, especially towards increased use of public cloud.
“Prepare for the cloud to become the dominant paradigm,” comments Barry Brunsman, head of KPMG’s CIO Advisory Center of Excellence and director of the firm’s CIO Advisory practice. “With us, all data and cyber platforms are provided as a service. And the toolstoolsthat we develop with are in a hyperscale cloud environment.”
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Additionally, CIOs and researchers believe that a resilient cloud environment will be key to capitalizing on other technology trends expected in 2025. These included growing interest and use cases for augmented realityaugmented reality (AR), virtual realityvirtual reality (VR) and the Metaverse, although the latter technology is far from mature.
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Still, “we’re seeing a real buzz around Web3 and the metaverse,” Brunsman reports. Others agree, adding that CIOs already have the task of seizing the opportunities of the metaverse. Despite this, Brunsman tempers expectations of the Metaverse and its potential in 2025. Many leaders would be hesitant to be at the forefront of building the Metaverse.
CIOs and IT consultants also assume that the high growth rates of networked devices will continue over the next three years. “The Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to grow rapidly,” predicts Craig Wright, senior consulting and transformation partner at consultancy West Monroe. “We already have billions of devices, but we are talking about trillions in the future.” Because of this, CIOs are already considering how they can support, monitor, and secure the growing endpoint infrastructure. This means, for example, that they use biometrics instead of passwords and tokens, but also more advanced computing devices, more analysis tools for data generated by end devices and a more automated data analysis.
The focus on data is usually an important aspect for CIOs until 2025, many expect a “data tsunami” which will continue to grow. “The trend of increasing data usage continues,” said Joan Holman, CIO of law firm Clark Hill. “It will be essential for the technology team to know what data and what insights it can provide so that they can use it to achieve business goals. We need to think about where our data resides, how we protect and how we can put all the pieces together to create value for the business.”