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IDC Unveils Worldwide CIO Agenda 2021 Predictions

Michael Shirer

October 18, 2020

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While technology is critical factor, protecting and promoting the health, safety, and welfare of all key stakeholders is lynchpin to gaining trust and loyalty, foundations of business success today
FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, CIOs faced epic challenges and the road to recovery stretches ahead. For many business leaders, recovery isn't just a return to their former state, but a top to bottom rethinking of what business they need to be in, and how they must be run. To support CIOs and IT leaders in this endeavor, International Data Corporation (IDC) today unveiled the IDC FutureScape: Worldwide CIO Agenda 2021 Predictions (IDC #US46010920). As the chief owners of the digital infrastructure that underpins all aspects of modern enterprises, CIOs must play pivotal roles in the road to recovery, “seeking the next normal” while still performing their traditional roles. This new IDC study outlines concrete actions that CIOs can and must take to create resilient and adaptive future enterprises with technology.

IDC FutureScape: Worldwide CIO Agenda 2021 Predictions outlines concrete actions that CIOs can and must take to create resilient and adaptive future enterprises with technology.

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In a webinar held today, IDC analysts Joe Pucciarelli and Serge Findling presented the key predictions that will impact CIOs and IT professionals worldwide over the next one to five years. With the insights and guidance of IDC's global CIO Agenda team, senior IT leaders and line-of-business executives will be armed with the tools and strategies needed to effectively manage and communicate their IT investment priorities and implementation strategies, leading IT through the "next normal." To register for an on-demand replay of this webinar or any of the IDC FutureScape Webinars, please visit:

Click to Tweet: Top Worldwide #CIO Agenda 2021 Predictions have been revealed and explained by IDC in their #IDCFutureScape webinar series. Register to learn more:
"In a time of turbulence and uncertainty, CIOs and senior IT leaders must discern how IT will enable the future growth and success of their enterprise while ensuring its resilience," said Findling, vice president of Research for IDC's IT Executive Programs (IEP)."The ten predictions in this study outline key actions that will define the winners in recovering from current adverse events, building resilience, and enabling future growth."

The predictions from the IDC FutureScape for Worldwide CIO Agenda are:

Prediction 1 - #CIOAIOPS: By 2022, 65% of CIOs will digitally empower and enable front-line workers with data, AI, and security to extend their productivity, adaptability, and decision-making in the face of rapid changes.

Prediction 2 - #Risks: Unable to find adaptive ways to counter escalating cyberattacks, unrest, trade wars, and sudden collapses, 30% of CIOs will fail in protecting trust —the foundation of customer confidence — by 2021.

Prediction 3 - #TechnicalDebt: Through 2023, coping with technical debt accumulated during the pandemic will shadow 70% of CIOs, causing financial stress, inertial drag on IT agility, and "forced march" migrations to the cloud.

Prediction 4 - #CIORole: By 2023, global crises will make 75% of CIOs integral to business decision making as digital infrastructure becomes the business OS while moving from business continuation to re-conceptualization.

Prediction 5 - #Automation: To support safe, distributed work environments, 50% of CIOs will accelerate robotization, automation, and augmentation by 2024, making change management a formidable imperative.

Prediction 6 - #RollingCrisis: By 2023, CIO-led adversity centers will become a permanent fixture in 65% of enterprises, focused on building resilience with digital infrastructure, and flexible funding for diverse scenarios.

Prediction 7 - #CX: By 2025, 80% of CIOs alongside LOBs will implement intelligent capabilities to sense, learn, and predict changing customer behaviors, enabling exclusive customer experiences for engagement and loyalty.

Prediction 8 - #Low/NoCode: By 2025, 60% of CIOs will implement governance for low/no-code tools to increase IT and business productivity, help LOB developers meet unpredictable needs, and foster innovation at the edge.

Prediction 9 - #ControlSystems: By 2025, 65% of CIOs will implement ecosystem, application, and infrastructure control systems founded on interoperability, flexibility, scalability, portability, and timeliness.

Prediction 10 - #Compliance: By 2024, 75% of CIOs will absorb new accountabilities for the management of operational health, welfare, and employee location data for underwriting, health, safety, and tax compliance purposes.

IDC FutureScape presents information about technologies, markets, and ecosystems that help CIOs better understand future trends and their impacts on the enterprise. They also present guidance on complex, fast-moving environments and offer prescriptive, actionable recommendations. Every year, IDC identifies the key external drivers that will influence businesses in the coming years. An IDC FutureScape establishes ten predictions derived from these drivers, analyzes the impacts on the IT organization, and proposes recommendations for the next five years.

To learn more about IDC FutureScape reports for 2021, please visit:

For additional information about these predictions or to arrange a one-on-one briefing with Joe Pucciarelli or Serge Findling, please contact Sarah Murray at 781-378-2674 or Reports are available to qualified members of the media. For information on purchasing reports, contact; reporters should email

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