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3D printing and wearable tech to transform Asia CIOs' role

Sheila Lam (Computerworld HK) | Feb. 3, 2014
Among Gartner's latest top 10 predictions on global IT market, the rising of 3D printing and wearable tech are expected to be most significant to Asia's CIOs. The research firm noted the by 2018, 3D printing will result a minimum loss of US$100 billion per year from intellectual property (IP) theft.

"So I'd tell the CIOs to close their eyes, take a deep breath and let it go," he said. "But they can't. They may be so fixated on it that they will have the ultimate security, but it still won't work and their businesses slowly disappear into the digital horizon."

Warrilow added it is important to have good security, but if such protection "does not support the business model and the transformation it needed, it's not worth it."

Privacy and IoT
He noted part of the reasons enterprises will find it difficult to protect all their data is that more consumers are willing to "barter their personal data for cost saving, convenience and customization." Gartner predicted that in three years (2017), 80% of consumers are willing to do that.

"Consumer interest in self-tracking also suggests that consumers are investing more time and energy in collecting data about themselves," said the research firm. "They increasingly view such data as a key asset for life improvement, which is potentially consistent with the idea of trading it for value under the right circumstances."

Warrilow added that IoT is expected to pick up even faster in Asia, where mobility is more prevalent. Consumers' interest to collect and trade their personal data means enterprises will find it difficult to protect sensitive data. But it will also create business opportunities as "by 2020, consumer data collected from wearable devices will drive 5% of sales," according to Gartner.

What do these mean to the CIOs?
According to Warrilow, more organizations will introduce new titles like Chief Digital Officer (CDO), whose specific job is to raise the enterprises digital footprint and grow the business via digital channels.

CIOs need to be able to transform into these roles or eventually being replaced from CDOs.

"I'd like to see the CIOs to become CDOs," he said. "But many will keep the traditional role and won't be the CIOs by 2024, or they may have a CDO to replace its job by then."

"CIOs are also encouraged to move beyond the three to five years planning horizon, as the implications of these technologies covers to 2020 — 2022. These changes are societal to human changes, they will come with discomfort and require the CIOs to be a true leader of technological change, rather than just a leader of technologies," Warrilow concluded.


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