Marketing faces new challenges in the areas of customer engagement, connectivity, data and insight.

Over the next two years small businesses in Australia will be confronted by a rapidly changing technology landscape.

These emerging trends are set to disrupt the way we work and how markets and industries evolve, said Deloitte manager partner of consulting Robert Hillard in Deloitte’s annual Tech Trends report.

Business, technology and science come together

No matter the size of your business, from macro technology changes – digital, analytics, the cloud, the renaissance of core systems, cybersecurity, and the changing role of IT – to breakthroughs in materials science, medical science, artificial intelligence and other changing domains, the report suggests these are the top four trends to keep in mind.

1. Ambient computing supports the Internet of Things

Interconnected devices or ‘things’ that operate using the internet (known as the ‘Internet of Things’) will be more connected to sensors, intelligence and agents sensitive to the presence of people. This means that this type of technology will become more person- or user-centric.

New business models will capitalise on these innovations by bringing together smarter ‘things’ with analytics, security, data and integration platforms to affect the way we work and live.

2. The IT worker of the future

While the scarcity of technical talent is a significant concern, offshoring is no longer a simple answer. Many organisations are facing talent gaps in new and different skill sets, including creative design, user experience engineering and other disciplines grounded in the arts.

According to a recent Australian Industry Group report called Progressing STEM skills in Australia, nearly half of the 300 companies surveyed were having difficulty recruiting technicians and trade workers with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

To tackle these challenges, companies will have to nurture a new kind of employee – the IT worker of the future – who possesses habits and skills that differ from those in play today. They will also need to develop new techniques for organising, delivering and evolving the IT mission.

3. Chief information officer as chief integration officer (CIO)

The role of CIO is evolving rapidly, with integration at the core of its mission. Increasingly, CIOs need to harness emerging, disruptive technologies for their business and be given a voice to drive innovation and a competitive stance in their industry.

They should help ensure critical domains like digital, analytics and the cloud aren’t spurring redundant or conflicting investments and are fully integrated.

4. Dimensional marketing is on the rise

Marketing faces new challenges in the areas of customer engagement, connectivity, data and insight. A new vision is emerging as business leaders invest in technology for omni-channel approaches, content development, customer analytics, marketing automation and commerce initiatives.

“For the first time in a number of years, these trends are being primarily driven from the enterprise rather than consumer products, making it more important than ever that organisations understand what is happening,” says Hillard.

 

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