The next wave of disruption and productivity improvements is upon us, and that means opportunity for the digital enterprise — if you are following the right roadmap. Our six technology trends are critical guideposts for innovation on your digital transformation journey.

1. Re-platforming the enterprise

In 2018, companies will move to common IT platforms so they can respond to market changes faster and make better, more informed decisions. These platforms are rich in analytics, follow the information flow of the business, and are simple to use.

It’s about technology you need, not technology you make. It’s about shifting your resources from operating computers to creating differentiated products and services, where differentiation comes from information you provide in context that fundamentally changes the experience. Learn more.

2. The war for digital talent is vigorous and creative

Because of this, CIOs need to radically change the talent mix to be much more skilled in information integration, information analytics and information governance.  How do they do this, given the scarcity of digital skills?

Answer: Common platforms (see trend #1), which concentrate talent. And, creative approaches such as crowdsourcing, bring your own teams (BYOT), incubators and strategic acquihires — described further in Unleashing Digital Talent for Fun and Profit, a report by our Leading Edge Forum. Learn more.

3. Quantified enterprise: Stop guessing and start measuring

In 2018, the whole organization becomes massively data-driven. Data is now in the hands of employees to make better decisions.

Companies will harness the “data exhaust” from their digital systems to quantify the business and become even more productive. This quantification will emerge as a primary driver of digital transformation. One of the first areas for continuous improvement will be business processes, as data-driven approaches, platforms and agile techniques begin to unleash massive productivity.

Forced to rethink big data, companies will use advanced machine learning to make better decisions with less data. Learn more.

4. Businesses get stronger through cyber resilience

But a failure in the machines (in the platform in trend #1) can cause massive problems. So we need to rethink resilience in light of our reliance on information platforms. And, in light of threats coming not only from cyber attacks but from natural disasters, vendor failures, human error, and even mergers and acquisitions, which cause instability.

Enterprises must work to get their resilience as high as possible by planning and practicing for such threats, because they will happen. Learn more.

5. Companies grow through digital business extensions

This need for resilience is exacerbated by the fact that businesses are growing into tangential markets — digital business extensions — and forming rich ecosystems. This growth can be organic, through partnerships or through acquisitions. Think Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods.

These information ecosystems are very valuable, whether owned or partnered. GE’s Predix platform for industrial IoT is a good example of a digital business extension and a strong ecosystem. Learn more.

6. AI gets smarter and more practical

Finally, it’s all about information, and we know machines can do a better, faster job of understanding information patterns than people. So AI is front and center in 2018. Learn more.

With the right roadmap and these guideposts, companies can succeed on their digital transformation journeys in 2018 and beyond.

Read more about our predictions at DXC Digital Directions.

See an annotated version of this post on Dan’s blog.