Do Your Top Priorities Match Your Peers’?

 In Cloud

Where are you focusing your technology priorities this year? Are you working on the same issues that concern your peers? According to surveys, these are the top three issues CIOs are concerned with this year.

1. Digital Transformation

Digital transformation goes far beyond aligning technology with the business; it means making technology a driver of the business that opens up new opportunities for revenue. In fact, according to Gartner, CIOs expect digital revenues to grow from 16 to 35 percent over the next five years.

What that means is that CIOs need to start taking a new view of the business, its data, and its people. Rather than a clear delineation between internal and external systems and between data and product, CIOs need to start identifying the value that comes by eliminating silos, connecting those internal and external systems, by using data to drive product decisions, and even by turning data into a product itself. They need to build relationships beyond the technology channels to effectively embed the transformation throughout the business and drive transformation as a business strategy, not just an IT strategy.

CIOs also need to put in place the processes to support this transformation. They may need to embrace bimodal IT, with traditional development and support methodologies focused on keeping the legacy business systems running, and more agile methodologies enabling the rapid change and deployment of transformative systems and processes.

2. Use the Cloud to Achieve Agility

According to Cisco, 86 percent of workloads will run in the cloud by 2019. Although the cloud is sometimes sold to CEOs and CFOs as a cost-saving measure, due to reducing hardware, operations, and maintenance costs, CIOs are looking to leverage the cloud to support their companies’ migrations to agile development methodologies (and achieve the digital transformation that’s their top priority).

The cloud gives companies the ability to quickly spin up systems and test new technology without making a long-term commitment; they just pay for what they use while they’re using it. The cloud also provides the ideal environment for running the big data analytical programs that let companies make smart, data-driven decisions (also part of the digital transformation goal); not only does the cloud make storing large amounts of data easy, several cloud providers provide the ability to easily set up clusters for distributed processing using big data tools like Hadoop.

Surprisingly, despite all the concerns about security in the cloud, the cloud may actually help companies finally achieve solid information security solutions. Rather than having to implement security across a disparate technology stack, many security features will be layered into the security stack their cloud vendors’ provide. SLAs with cloud providers will make clear the separation of responsibility and let companies focus intensely on the security of applications and data.

3. Hiring People Who Can Make IT Happen

Neither of the CIOs’ top two goals—or their top 10, 20, or 100 goals—can happen without the right people on their team. Gartner states that 65 percent of CIOs believe there is a talent crisis. Gartner also reports that 22 percent of CIOs say that the difficulty hiring people with the right skills is the biggest barrier to their success. The problems is especially hard in the areas that will drive the business transformation: big data and analytics.

As a result, CIOs need to work hard to attract and retain their top talent. Along with the big data and analytics, they need to bring in staff with the other skills needed for digital transformation, such as user experience design and DevOps. And with their new staff, they need to build a new culture that embraces the innovative methods that will drive their transformation.

Tough Challenges

Achieving all these priorities this year will be tough for CIOs, especially those who try to go it alone. Instead, partner with Prescient Solutions. Whether providing strategic advisory services, running your IT help desk, or developing applications, our experts can help you achieve your top IT goals. Contact us for a free assessment to get started.

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