Why CIOs Need to Stay on Top of These Eight Trends in 2018

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Why CIOs Need to Stay on Top of These Eight Trends in 2018

This has been a transformative year for the digital enterprise in more ways than one. This changeover is expected to continue into 2018 as organizations try to meet escalating consumer expectations in our on-demand economy. To satisfy their needs, it is critical for companies to attract and retain top talent by providing agile, flexible and safe network solutions. The consumerization of IT is changing the needs of the modern business, and with it the role of the CIO. Critical decisions across mobility and fixed networks touch all aspects of an enterprise, either leading to its progress or decline. To stay competitive, there are some top trends that every CIO must consider for the year ahead. This eWEEK slide show, using industry information from Vodafone, offers eight trends that 2018 CIOs should understand.

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The Rise of Software-Defined Networks

As companies juggle cyber-security risks and the adoption of new applications and devices, there will be a strong need to revamp network infrastructure strategies to meet new organizational demands in a flexible way. Software-defined networks (SDNs) provide a compelling solution for this demand. Already, enterprise customers are getting ready for SDN, but many struggle with how they will combine the technology with hybrid clouds. Companies will soon turn to both global providers of dedicated internet and providers that can integrate multiple ISPs under a common service route for SDN opportunities.

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Solution Resolution With Unified Communications

For a long time, consumer-grade cloud offerings have existed independently from enterprise-grade solutions. Companies now are wrestling with the need to provide a cohesive communications approach that integrates the security and quality of an enterprise-grade network with the lighter-weight, cloud-based solutions that may appeal to employees. A key challenge for the CIO in 2018 will be striking the proper balance to meet the needs of the business.

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The Evolution of the BYOD Phenomenon

To be a truly digital organization, an enterprise needs to make developing a mobile workforce a priority. The need for access to business information via personal devices, and the rise in remote work, led to the BYOD (bring your own devoice) phenomenon that is common across many businesses. The CIO now is challenged not only with making devices accessible to employees but also with securing all devices containing company information. With the constant threat of security breaches, companies must ensure secure device practices.

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IT Meets HR

The responsibilities of the CIO are no longer exclusive to the IT department. Technology has become an integral asset for companies looking to attract and retain talent across business units. As a result, the role of the CIO is becoming increasingly aligned with the HR department. Companies will need to create a flexible work environment with the right technology to meet changing employee expectations. CIOs who are more cognizant of how their platform affects employee morale will give businesses an edge over their competition.

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An Anticipatory Approach to Cyber-security

It's an unfortunate truth, but with the introduction of so many new services and solutions, the threat of security breaches is at an all-time high. Long gone are the days where companies could adopt a "set it and forget it" mentality for cyber-security. Now the CIO needs to anticipate security breaches before they happen. Developing this mindset and having flexible network structures that will allow companies to move resources when needed will help to mitigate losses if a breach occurs.

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Artificial Intelligence in Everything

Artificial intelligence and machine learning were buzz topics in 2017, and that momentum will continue into 2018. There will be new applications for AI and machine learning that could carry over into the network solutions space. For example, we could begin to see AI and machine learning applied to make internet routing protocols and security algorithms more efficient, which could greatly enhance the functionalities of these processes across an enterprise.

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Preparing for 5G

By 2020, widespread 5G will be a reality. Enterprises need to anticipate the potential of 5G now so they can best prepare for the impact the technology will have across their business. With 5G, there is going to be more bandwidth, and with it additional applications that are adopted. Part of this process will involve implementing strong mobility and application strategies, and ensuring best cyber-security practices.

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Making IT Appealing to Top Talent Through Consumerization

One of the biggest challenges enterprises will face in the coming years is attracting and keeping top talent. Part of this involves creating a truly digital work environment where employees have access to similar technologies at work that they have in their personal lives. Businesses will need to decide how they can offer the flexible environment of consumer IT platforms with the quality of service of enterprise-grade technology.

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Hyperscaling at Speed: Insights From Airbnb, Spotify, Shippo, Others

There are dangers to organizations scaling too slowly or too fast. At the recent "Hyper-Scaling at Speed" event, executives shared tips on scaling quickly and efficiently.
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