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UK CIOs and CTOs identify AI, 5G and IoT as the most important technologies for 2021

A new conducted by IEEE examined Chief Information Officers (CIO) and Chief Technology Officers (CTO) in the UK, to understand the opportunities, challenges and key technology trends for 2021.

As the world’s largest technical professional organisation dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity, the IEEE’s research also explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the speed of technology adoption and the industries expected to be most impacted by technology in the year ahead. In the UK, almost a third of respondents (31 percent) cited AI and machine learning, followed by 5G, IoT and video conferencing at 16 percent each, as next year’s most important technologies and challenges. In terms of the industry that will most impacted by technology next year, most UK CIOs and CTOs believe this will be manufacturing, closely followed by healthcare and financial services.

At the same time, more than half (59 percent) of CIOs and CTOs see their biggest challenge in 2021 as dealing with aspects of COVID-19 recovery in relation to business operations. These challenges include a permanent hybrid remote and office work structure (29 percent), office and facilities re-openings and return (10 percent), and managing permanent remote working (20%). However, 16 percent said the agility to stop and start IT initiatives as this unpredictable environment continues will be their biggest challenge. Another 14 percent cited online security threats, including those related to remote workers, as the biggest challenge they see in 2021.

When it comes to technology adoption, acceleration and disaster preparedness due to COVID-19, respondents in the UK have sped up adopting some technologies due to the pandemic. More than half (59 percent) of respondents have accelerated adoption of cloud computing, while 51 percent have accelerated 5G adoption and 53 percent have accelerated AI and machine learning. The adoption of IoT (57 percent) and video conferencing (43 percent) technologies have also been accelerated due to the global pandemic.

Generally, many respondents believe their company is better prepared than last year to respond to a potentially catastrophic interruption such as a data breach or natural disaster. What’s more, of those who say they are better prepared, 61 percent strongly agree that COVID-19 accelerated their preparedness. When asked which technologies will have the greatest impact on global COVID-19 recovery, just over one in five (22 percent) of those surveyed said AI and machine learning.

Cybersecurity remains a significant issue for UK CIOs and CTOs, according to IEEE. The top two concerns when it comes to the cybersecurity of their business are security issues related to the mobile workforce including employees bringing their own devices to work (41 percent) and ensuring the Internet of Things (IoT) is secure (35 percent). This is not surprising, since the number of connected devices such as smartphones, tablets, sensors, robots and drones is increasing dramatically. 24 percent of CIO and CTO respondents said they can track and manage 26-50% of devices connected to their business, while a quarter (25 percent) of those surveyed said they could track and manage 51-75% of connected devices.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by D Baker .

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