With the current technological revolution sweeping through all aspects of conducting business, the role of the CIO has never been greater. Increasing customer value and improving the IT delivery at scale, velocity, and affordability should be at the top of their priorities in 2019.
Some areas of the business that need to be given special attention by CIOs need to include customer and employee experience, digital business services, and ecosystem microservices. Besides, many IT leaders should spend some time finding ways to reduce interdepartmental friction as well as wasted resources. It is crucial for them to identify the company's barriers to improvement and tackle them as fast as possible.
One common issue presents itself in the form of budgets. While the IT department's costs and expenditures are growing exponentially with every passing year, the allocated budgets remain steady and linear. It's for this reason why CIOs need to teach other department heads and those in key leadership positions about the present digital transformation as well as the investments needed to achieve it.
Sean Ferrel, Managed Solution Founder states,“Technology has moved from the core to the floor. CIO’s should worry less about tools at the core of their environments and focus more on users, apps, productivity and overall process that happens in the floor of their business. Most business owners are getting more involved in technology decisions and many of those focus around gathering valuable data and figuring out what insights that data gives us to get an upper hand on the business. While some might use the terms IoT, Machine Learning, BI or even AI as the new norm, we see a world of data that’s disconnected and in many ways “gold” to the business. That being said, getting out of the day to day world of building the ship and finding the treasure is what we as IT leaders should be focused on.”
So, what should a CIO strategy look like in 2019?
What Needs to Change
Before going into what investments are needed, we must first analyze the things that need to change within the organization for those investments to take hold. These changes can classify into two main categories.
On the one hand, there are personnel changes. These will include changing the perspective within the company about the importance of future IT investments. Some examples include things such as getting managers on board with the idea by making use of data. Similarly, increasing customer focus both internally and externally. They can enable the digital inclusion, equity, and accessibility of all relevant parties. And also, driving innovation to increase the relevance of IT and allowing strategy alignment.
From an organizational change perspective, CIOs need to tackle tech debt and increase their digital footprint. Making way for automation, supply chain digitization, and DevSecOps should also have priority. Phasing out the data center, modernizing governance, and improving data analytics and quality need to be on this list as well. Last but not least, CIOs need to focus their attention on cybersecurity, GDPR compliance, data protection compliance, and other such security solutions.
Some of these changes can be tackled more at a time. Reducing the tech debt, for instance, is about replacing old, monolithic systems with more secure and customizable counterparts.
What Are the Investment Priorities?
Like we said in the beginning, customer-centricity is the key to success. The digital environment offers both a way to engage with the audience and deliver a superior experience across the entire customer journey. Be it financial institutions, healthcare providers, nonprofits, or governmental agencies; all stand to gain from better customer engagement.
To achieve it, however, flexibility is critical. By moving away from project-based episodic deliveries and towards continuous integration, companies can also begin to build trust across the organization and between IT and other departments. By focusing on the customer, everyone will be working toward a common goal and results are sure to follow.
Regarding investments, CIOs should focus on improving security and digital transformation, as a whole. Transitioning to the cloud and focusing on IT continuity are also aspects that should be invested in. Considering the right kind of talent, be it through leading, training, or better hires, is always a plus. Companies can also benefit here by accessing managed services from remote partners. Application upgrades and getting more value from past investments will also prove worthwhile.
All of these issues presented here can differ and should take precedence based on every company's unique needs. Nevertheless, CIOs should prioritize their resources on people, security, and digital transformation to align themselves better with the customer's expectations. Together with Managed Solution, you will be well on your way there. Contact us today for a free consultation!