13 Mar Top 5 strategic CIO priorities to facilitate digital growth
It’s arguably never been more important that CIOs get their priorities right. While there are obvious political concerns tempering expectations, advances in digital technology have opened the door for organisations to make some giant strides within their business.
In the next five years, CIOs expect their companies’ digital revenues to grow from 16% to 37%, according to Gartner’s recent CIO Agenda survey of 2,944 CIOs in 84 countries.
However, that sort of progress depends on a CIO’s ability to make the most of the technology at their disposal. In a piece for Forbes, Oracle’s editorial director, Rob Preston, sets out 10 strategic CIO priorities for 2017 – we’ve narrowed them down further to a top five:
1. Take the reins on digital transformation
Oracle warns that CIOs who fail to take the lead on digital transformation are in danger of seeing their business be marginalised. Yet, as per Gartner’s 2016 CIO Agenda survey, fewer than 40% of respondents said they’re overseeing their company’s digital transformation efforts.
The CIO needs to oversee the project as they have “the required technical, project management, vendor management and integration expertise that most marketing-reared CMOs and CDOs will never have”, Oracle argues.
2. Get out and meet customers
Deloitte’s global CIO survey reveals that 57% of respondents chose “customers” as their top business priority – but just 45% of the CIOs surveyed think their business helps improve the customer experience though their IT capabilities.
CIOs are urged to get out and meet customers to see where their business is coming up short.
3. Recommit to human resources
In just about every survey you see on CIOs’ priorities, talent ranks top – especially in these times of digital skills shortages. However, in reality, many CIOs are not making talent their top priority – hesitating to replace underperformers, making it harder to fill their talent pipelines with people highly-skilled in digital.
CIOs need to map out a workforce development plan that not only identifies skills gaps but appeals to high achievers, otherwise the tendency is to stand still.
4. Embrace the cloud
It’s time for businesses to whole-heartedly embrace the cloud, Oracle suggests. Where once the cloud was seen as the risky option, it is now seen as the safe bet for sensitive data, with cloud providers required to employ world-class security as a core competency.
5. Ensure you’re built for speed
Those businesses who move fastest, usually win. According to Francois Lancon, who oversees Oracle’s Asia-Pacific business, firms need to “change at a very different speed than they did five years ago”. CIOs, then, should prioritise the tech that allows their business to move faster and with greater efficiency.
However, it goes without saying that in order to understand your future priorities you need to understand where you are now and seek to achieve operational stability. Only through understanding where you are currently suboptimal from a cultural, people, process perspective can you understand your technological requirements.
In other words, if you currently have to use three solutions to achieve an effective HR function, consider why that is before embarking upon something new. Only by understanding the present can you effectively plan where you go next and what that should look like. Otherwise you’ll build a new path from the carpark to your office only to realise that everyone continues to push through the hedge because it’s shorter or it’s what they’ve always done. The path doesn’t change the culture, mindset or process – technology is no different.