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As a follow-on to our last post about CIO challenges, this post takes on the evolving role of CIO. As leaders within the organization, CIOs have the difficult task of making complex technology decisions that impact the entire workforce. To do this effectively, they need to be informed about what’s to come.
With the challenges we discussed previously, along with other shifts happening in 2019, here are five changes CIOs need to address to make it to 2020 unscathed.
Consumerism has infiltrated the enterprise space, resulting in software vendors playing up flashy features that captivate executives. But CIOs can’t let themselves get excited by technology for technology’s sake. They have to remember to focus on their requirements. It doesn’t matter how nice the solution looks if it doesn’t fully address the organization’s needs.
Compared to five years ago, the average worker is much more tech savvy. They are less “technology takers” and more “technology demanders.” Run-of-the-mill solutions won’t cut it. Workers will push back, expecting more from the solution—whether that be more features, a simpler UI, or some other aspect. This of course needs to be balanced with point #1.
CIOs must move from identifying a need to choosing a solution quickly. Technology is moving too fast to spend a lot of time on bringing in or switching systems, vendors, etc. That means non-valuable parts of the process, like bureaucracy, have to be cut out. Of course, they still need to strike a balance to avoid making a bad choice. But that puts the onus on developing a clearly defined, efficient selection process.
A single data point may have a limited number of uses, but when combined with other data points, they can be analyzed and produce a synergy in value (i.e., greater than the sum of their parts). This will provide greater insight about the organization than when viewing the minutia of details.
Consider an example: A company owns five businesses, each purchasing raw materials. In looking at the inventory of each business individually, certain data points will provide value in optimizing that business’ inventory. However, looking at all five businesses provides a more holistic view. One likely result is reorganizing the stock ordering process to have a central repository and less total stock—meaning less capital tied up inventory—that could then be delivered to the different locations as needed.
This is especially true when planning for obsolescence of software/hardware. Their lifespan is shortening, meaning there are new versions being released more quickly. The replacement and upgrade process needs to shorten to match.
In addition, planning frequency should be shortened (e.g., annually instead of biannually) and the rigor increased in each planning phase, enabling executives to react quicker. Cover topics such as how users access data, what technology to bring in, how to optimize business processes, the desire to move to cloud/SaaS, any security concerns, etc.
Factum is a boutique consultancy with a solid track record of success in helping CIOs and IT leaders with change and transformation, software selection and implementation, and other key organisational areas. Our experienced consultants have worked across numerous industries with Fortune 100 and FTSE 100 companies. We use what we’ve learned and developed from past engagements to bring greater value to organisations like yours.
Don’t face 2019 alone. Schedule your free discovery call today to see how we can help you flourish in your CIO role.