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Technology in the business context

What you can expect in 2021–2022

Businesses have grown accustomed to trusting big, established household names and their platforms – and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. However, as they push to get more out of their technology investments, they’ll find that they also need to take data ecosystems and API strategies into consideration. In many cases, tech-related roles and responsibilities in the C-suite will also need to be clarified.

Data platforms and ERPs

While data, AI and machine learning get most of the news coverage, the practical reality of dispersed data and a multitude of proprietary business-critical systems means that customers often lack a data platform to truly harness their data for business use.

This holds true especially in the industrial landscape where more modern development has so far been mostly limited to customer-facing solutions, and internal processes – such as the ones integrated into ERPs – run in their own separate vacuums.

The widespread lack of data platforms and platform thinking in general is problematic. Addressing these oversights will be an important trend in the coming years, and this may well prove an opportunity for companies in the technology space to share and sell their expertise.

Platform ecosystems gaining even more popularity

Whether it’s Microsoft 365, Salesforce or AWS and their respective partners, customers seem to be increasingly placing their bets on certain large service providers.

Microsoft has gone all-in on using Office 365 and Azure as a stepping stone to their company-wide vision and getting customers into their ecosystem.

API strategy

With near-real-time (NRT) data becoming business-critical everywhere, API strategy is becoming increasingly important for business. But so far, companies still struggle with managing and implementing their API strategies.

While in most cases APIs serve a specific purpose, and it may not even be necessary or even desirable to centralize everything, there is a clear trend towards a more structured API development strategy.

This ties closely into new service development, partner cooperation, as well as company internal business APIs.

Blurring CIO, CDO and CTO roles

Technology leadership roles companies seem to be increasingly customer-specific. More often than not, C-suite tech leaders today are part of the leadership team, and depending on the domain and internal organizational structure, enterprises might have either one, two or three of the roles mentioned.

In a lot of cases, it is difficult for everyone to draw clear lines on who is responsible for what on the CTO–CDO–CIO axis. The jury is still out on whether this will lead to more role convergence or integration.

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