High interest rates, slowing economic growth and dropping valuations were hurdles faced by companies across sectors in 2023. Amidst this dynamic backdrop, CIOs have been tasked with overseeing the delicate balance between sustaining technology investments and grappling with ongoing budget constraints. Technology innovation took center stage, with AI implementations quickly becoming the new priority for many forward-thinking organizations. Although no one can predict what will happen in the year ahead, most signs point to these themes persisting in 2024.
How should CIOs and other technology leaders respond to these challenges in the coming year? The following article explores five key CIO priorities to focus on.
Five top priorities for CIOs in 2024
1.) Keep moving your AI journey forward.
Digital transformation continues to be a core theme — and a differentiator — for most organizations, as well as a central tenet of the CIO’s responsibilities. More and more, this involves finding the best way to integrate AI tools into your operations. If you’re not currently considering how artificial intelligence and machine learning can add value to your operations, then you are likely behind your competition. But where do you start if you haven’t already? This journey often unfolds in four key stages:
- Identifying your current use of AI.
- Defining AI use cases to test and validate.
- Focusing on high-impact, quick wins.
- Scaling your use of AI.
In the year ahead, many anticipate that generative AI (GenAI), in particular, will likely play an increasingly integral role in many business functions—helping to drive new levels of productivity. CIOs must prioritize aligning these technology initiatives with relevant lines of business in 2024 and beyond.
2.) Stay focused on cybersecurity.
As digital optimization becomes increasingly central to organizations’ operating models, cybersecurity concerns must stay high on the CIO’s priority list. Failure to address internal controls, data privacy, and process gaps in an IT environment can lead to regulatory, reputational or legal challenges down the road — not to mention failing to produce the expected value for the business. CIOs should be familiar with these cyber threats and any relevant regulatory changes/requirements for risk management and be prepared to lead the charge in developing the processes and controls necessary to effectively manage this landscape.
Check out BPM’s Cybersecurity Assessment Services to ensure your organization’s resilience against cyber threats.
3.) Data and analytics should remain top of mind.
Your data center serves as the backbone of your digital strategy. If your data strategy is immature, it will limit the capabilities of your overall digital agenda. By the same token, the strategic decisions of most successful organizations are backed by data. Data-driven companies tend to have a stronger understanding of their customers’ needs, make more informed decisions and are better equipped to optimize their operations. The bottom line for CIOs is that collecting and harnessing data remains mission-critical to the role, and continuing to foster a strong and consistent data strategy should remain a core CIO priority for the foreseeable future.
4.) Continue to optimize your cloud investment.
Cloud implementation is at a mature stage in most organizations, but this doesn’t mean CIOs should relegate it to the back burner. Strong cloud infrastructure can help support both flexibility and scalability across your operations — from supporting your hybrid workforce to bolstering overall data security. Automation and other innovations also depend on your cloud investment, so leadership should be confident that those systems are as optimized as possible to support your future technology ambitions and business goals. Additionally, technology leaders should continue to ask themselves: how can we better serve our customers via the cloud?
5.) Stay focused on finding the right talent.
We’ve seen time and again how digital transformation initiatives are stunted by talent and culture challenges. To address this potential gap head-on, it’s important to gain visibility into the skills your teams currently possess and what skills they will need going forward to thrive within your future vision for the organization. This can be accomplished through a comprehensive talent strategy designed to support, retain, upskill and reskill existing staff, while also attracting new talent with the right mindset to help your company succeed.
How BPM can help you focus on the top CIO priorities
Our team of seasoned professionals is on the ground, helping our clients navigate the fast-paced digital transformation landscape. When it comes to building the future-proof strategies and best practices you need around AI, data, cybersecurity, talent development and more, we have the resources, knowledge and experience that CIOs and the rest of your leadership team need to thrive from here forward. Contact us today to discuss your 2024 CIO priorities today.
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