Top Challenges for CIOs in 2021
As technology evolves, so does the role of a CIO within a company. It’s a tight-rope to walk in, bringing in value and innovation while also dealing with the many rising challenges and technological solutions within a company. Amidst all that, the CIO also needs to keep a clear mind and be focused on profitable business outcomes and client satisfaction. Staying ahead of technological advances and steering clear of obsolete frameworks, not only does the modern CIO look after the IT infrastructure, but also must add real value to a company.
The year 2020 has brought the IT sector to the forefront. The organizations are forced to adopt innovative ways to stay afloat – remote work, cloud computing, and digital transformation. CIOs are witnessing a whole new set of challenges.
Many companies have come to heavily rely on the data and other significant intelligence a CIO delivers to improve upon their products and services to clients. While looking after their traditional job roles, the modern CIO needs enough agility to be able to deliver new concepts – improving upon company procedures. Keeping up with new trends and mitigating risks, here’s a few practices you as a CIO can look into:
Using Data for Business Expansion
We have all come to know how important data is, and how companies use it to generate better revenue streams. As a CIO, it is your job to make sure that you mine the right data and not get lost into all that user information. Do away with the clutter and turn the data analytics into actionable information. Working well with the chief of marketing and revenue, move towards the company’s economic growth and seize greater market share. Be well informed on data personalization to drive in new customers and clientele.
Getting the Right Talent
A rising number of businesses are complaining about a considerable shortfall between the number of qualified IT professionals and the IT skills required in these modern times. The IT skills gap is very real, with the rising unavailability of skilled talent. Finding the right recruits with specific skillsets has proven to be quite cumbersome for CIOs in recent years, which now is statistically proven in Gartner’s report on skills gap for 2020. Challenges faced by CIOs are to only increase with the impending disruptions caused by the I&O skills gap.
“Skills Gaps occur around emerging technology, as well as management. The key to delivering digital value at scale has the right people.” – The DevOp thought Leader, Hank Marquis, and Research Director at Gartner.
Many organizations have started urging their CIOs to adopt the latest digital technologies to devise effective business models. Integrating automation tools like Cloud Computing, AI, and RPA (Robotic Process Automation) are surely good ideas, though, in most circumstances, executives are expecting quick returns on their investment.
As a CIO, you have to study the impact of all digital transformation initiatives within your company. Adopting a new technology just because it is trending or impressive, doesn’t necessarily guarantee real benefits. To get the most out of an innovative environment and emerging industry trends, set up metrics that measure the impact of these transformations within the company.
Dealing with Rising Security Threats
IT and Security professionals must be more cautious with digital threats endangering the company’s overall existence and functioning. Many are adopting AI-based protection systems to counter these rising security threats, amidst so many security breaches reported every other week. The average cost of a data breach is estimated at around $3.92 million in 2019, and cybersecurity statistics also place healthcare organizations amongst one of the top few to be affected by these security threats.
Staying extra vigilant with such looming threats and giving proper training helps a lot with the risk mitigation factor involved when dealing with cybersecurity attacks.
Incorporate Agile Solutions
CIOs need to encourage their companies to value regular innovation and adopt better agile methodologies. The objectives of an agile team are to develop quick quality software to streamline business functionality in addition to keeping equipment and infrastructure up to date.
As agile solutions grow in popularity, it’s your responsibility to implore new and innovative ideas while establishing a company culture that encourages growth. Experts recommend limiting the core agile team be comprised of only three to six individuals to maintain focus and growth. Effective agile methodologies provide multiple prospects for assessing the trajectory of a project throughout its development phase.
Managing the digital workforce
As work from home emerged as one of the new normal measures to work, managing the digital workforce is a new challenge for the CIOs. On the one hand, they have to manage the data’s security threats; on the other side, they have to provide access to all essential files and applications to employees.
Improving communication between IT and other departments and striving for regular improvement can go a long way. Poorly implemented projects and solutions that aren’t compatible with your current framework, coupled with poor communication, hinder the day to day functioning of your company. The main mission of IT specialists is to build upon and improve company/client experience, innovate and simplify processes while making sure the company’s internal communication is streamlined. It’s pivotal that your team works well together and keep daily activities aligned with your strategic goals.
Get involved and take responsibility
To reiterate on your credibility as CIO in a company, get involved with the core aspects of the business. The contributions of a CIO go far beyond the scope of the IT to things like product development, Innovation, business process management, procurement, and digital services. Such versatile CIOs can expect better functionality while also improving upon the product security, maintenance, and reliability of the business.
The CIO of the future must be well acquainted with growing market practices, and the digital impacts transformations have on their company. These are just a few challenges and thinks to look out for moving forward. The job of the CIO is slowly blurring into the role of an IT leader. Knowing when to upgrade your legacy systems – without losing out on function or security, and managing data security and consumer piracy, there are many things you need to watch out for.
Hari is a Digital Marketer and Digital transformation specialist. He is adept at cultivating strong executive and customer relationships, utilizing data across all interactions (customers, employees, services, products) to lead cross-functionally as a strategic thought partner to install discipline, process, and methodology into a scalable company-wide customer-centric model. He has 18+ year's experience in Customer Acquisition, Product Strategy, Sales & Pre-Sales Management, Customer Success, Operations Management He is a Mechanical Engineering Graduate with MBA in International Business and Information Technology.