How CIOs Can Prepare For Next-Gen Challenges

by CXOtoday News Desk    Dec 09, 2014

digital leader

Whoever said the role of CIO is changing were not incorrect. With companies taking giant technology leaps, workforce expecting anywhere-anytime work opportunities and social media influencing business decisions, the Chief Information Officer must realize the need to have a new set of business rules.

Every decision about technology adoption needs to factor in three fundamental conditions: Market transition, technology transition and economy. After that, there is a need to look internally to deliver value with regard to speed, capacity, cost and scale.

“Most importantly, CIOs must focus on business infrastructure, not just technology infrastructure. The IT model must be policy driven,” says V C Gopalratnam, president, IT & CIO, APJ&C, advising CIOs to adopt the BOST model—Business, Operations, Systems and Technology, in the same order.

At Cisco India summit in Bengaluru, he said the CIO must come out of his shell and see where the world is moving. He listed eight disruptive technology trends for 2015.

1. Growth of encrypted net traffic

2. Dynamic spectrum access

3. Securing the IoT

4. Predictive Context

5. Real-time analytics

6. Browser base video collaboration

7. Evolution of data management

8. Fog computing (For starters, fog computing is a network that extends cloud computing and services to the edge of the network)

These are some of the trends that aren’t new to technology leaders, but what he underpinned was the need for the CIO to consider all this while preparing the organization for the next generation.

Even PwC says, “To be successful, CIOs need to be more proactive. Accepting the inevitability of the consumerization trend and preparing for it by rethinking how they run IT.”

Dinesh Malkani, president, Cisco India & SAARC, said digital disruption has resulted in a competitive strategy, thereby leading to the rise of the Chief Digital Officer. “The CDO needs to capture the opportunities, understand the needs for better services for end users,” he said.

With emergence of new technologies, information technology has laid a framework that acts as the foundation for IT services and businesses.

“It is important for the CIO to understand IT infrastructure and framework of the organization. After taking into account multiple dimensions of IT and data analytics, they need to orchestrate a policy and program network to deliver value,” said Gopalratnam.

While drawing a roadmap, some of the questions that a CIO should mandatorily ask are: How do I cut cost or improve business; How do I create engaged and productive workforce; How do I standardize or customize? How do I create personalized customer experience? How do I handle dynamic threat landscape? And, how do I make decisions faster?

As the Internet of Things is being widely adopted across enterprises, the CIO has got to ensure the workforce is tuned in and trained for the technology needs that drive the organizational value.

The future of work

Wearable computing, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things are changing the organizational attributes. The workforce is expected to master newer skills in anticipation of changing needs. “The CIO must work towards developing skill sets that are trans-disciplinary and not specific to one area,” says Gopalratnam.

Stating that the social media is a new factor in decision making, he said the way millennials work is different. The younger generation has different expectations. The work atmosphere is completely different, as they want to work in a different manner, he said.

People have the flexibility of using their own device. So, the CIO needs to work policies around that to ensure necessary convenience, he said.

Collaboration is fundamental

As the company goes global, there is a need for the CIO to engage with the customers, understand the need to collaborate, create an organization environment that is not just flexible, but productive, he said.

For that, it is essential to forge collaborative relationships with users. As PwC says, CIOs must give users the freedom to make IT decisions, and teach them how to assume responsibility for those decisions. “And rather than enforcing hardware and application standards, they’ll need to rethink IT architecture and controls to focus on controlling — or loosening controls on – information,” it said.