BPM Partners Nick Steiner and Bryan Rhody highlight five priorities for CIOs to consider in what is expected to be an unpredictable year ahead.
“Volatile” was probably the word most used to describe markets in 2022, and although no one can predict what will happen in the year ahead, most signs point to continued turbulence in 2023. In this environment, CIOs will be called upon to balance the need for ongoing technology investment against what is likely to be a growing call for cost-cutting. How should CIOs approach this climate? The following are five key imperatives to consider:
1. Keep your eye on innovative and emerging technology.
Digital transformation continues to be a core theme (and differentiator) for most organizations, as well as a central tenet of the CIO’s responsibilities. We believe that technology investment should continue to be a focus for companies in 2023, just with a different lens applied. The focus now should be on leveraging technology to improve efficiencies, reduce costs, streamline operations and automate routine tasks. With this approach — whether 2023 brings a recession or a return to expansion — you’ll have the latest tools at your disposal to navigate the situation.
2. Be guided by data.
Data and analytics capabilities sit squarely within the CIO’s portfolio, and this functionality is increasingly becoming central to running a best-in-class organization, especially in times of economic challenge. Data helps the C-suite operate with improved visibility in an uncertain environment. The good news is that most enterprise software systems offer integration with analytics tools that can put rich amounts of information to work — aggregating data from across systems to get specific insights about your business and operations. At a time when efficiency and effectiveness have taken center stage, the CIO needs to be armed with actionable and real-time information. This is possible with the prioritization of analytics initiatives.
3. Optimize your cloud investment.
Cloud implementation is well underway at most organizations, and that trend is here to stay. During the pandemic, most cloud projects were geared towards enabling a majority remote workforce, but in the current economic landscape, customer retention is now coming into a stronger focus. This is an opportune time to consider how to better serve your customers via the cloud. In other words: 2023 could be the year you pivot your cloud strategy to be a little less internally focused and a little more externally focused.
4. Support a changing work environment.
The need to enable a flexible, secure work environment was a top priority for companies in 2022—and that trend is expected to continue in the year ahead as organizations experiment with their work models in a post-pandemic world. CIOs should stay focused on optimizing remote capabilities so that teams can move seamlessly and efficiently between remote and on-site work. That means putting collaboration and easy access to systems (most likely via the cloud) at the center of the workplace experience.
5. Up your cybersecurity game.
As digital transformation and cloud adoption become increasingly central to organizations’ operating models, cybersecurity concerns must stay at the top of the CIO’s agenda. The cyber risk landscape is quickly evolving as hackers find new ways to infiltrate systems. Meanwhile, enterprise networks remain vulnerable to new security flaws. Additionally, there’s a strong focus by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on cybersecurity concerns; new rules are being discussed that aim to enhance and standardize disclosures regarding cybersecurity risk management, strategy, governance and incident reporting. CIOs should be familiar with these requirements to build the infrastructure needed and implement processes and controls to achieve compliance.
How BPM can help
We have the resources, knowledge and experience CIOs need in these volatile times. Contact us to discuss your 2023 priorities today.