THE STRATEGIC CIO

2016 Predictions— Digitization, Robotics and Conversational Commerce

By Vic Bhagat, EMC’s EVP, Enterprise Business Solutions and CIO
@VicBhagat

Last year, I predicted that digitization would be critical for introducing contemporary services that combat IT complexity, increase our efficiency and quickly meet shifting business priorities. At EMC, we have and will continue to make tremendous strides in this direction.

However, with flat budgets and resources in 2016, we must also get creative and innovate how we simplify, digitize and automate our processes to deliver value-driven services for the business. Perhaps it is all the Star Wars hoopla, but I’m predicting the rise of robotics in IT will help us advance our digitization initiatives in 2016.

I’m not alone in this thinking. In reading Gartner’s 2016 predictions, there are numerous references to smart machines, autonomous software agents, human-to-machine content generation and even the phrase, “robo-boss.” However, before you leap to the computer-driven societies we see in the movies, let’s consider a more practical way to use robotics in our IT organizations.

Our business users want us to help them move faster and be more competitive by reducing development and sales cycles, and optimizing business processes and performance. Robotics process automation software will enable us to not only simplify and digitize critical processes, but also leverage self-learning and self-healing capabilities to improve how we support and service the business. And, by automating a process, our employees will have more time to focus on more strategic, high value opportunities.

Furthermore, software robotics will enable employees to instantly access and act on relevant and timely information. A prime example of this today is how messaging apps are converging our consumer experiences through what this article calls “conversational commerce.” As CIOs, how can we use digitization and software robotics to make our services and user interfaces more contemporary and intelligent, so users get a more seamless and productive experience?

That said, while the term robotics implies we are removing the human element, it couldn’t be further from the truth. To successfully embrace robotics in 2016 and beyond, we must continue to align closely with our business partners to understand their core processes and the levers we can pull to help them meet their goals. And, we must also empower our IT teams with the skills they need to rise with the machines.

How are you looking to digitize and automate your services to make them more valuable for your users?

 

Vic Bhagat
Executive Vice President, Enterprise Business Solutions & Chief Information Officer

Vic Bhagat is Executive Vice President, Enterprise Business Solutions and Chief Information Officer at EMC Corporation. He joined EMC in January 2013 and is responsible for leading the information technology, global Centers of Excellence, global business services, and indirect procurement organizations. He is based at EMC’s corporate headquarters in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, United States.