CIOs need to invest smartly to smoothly navigate through the troughs and peaks of the technological transformation journey. Building an agile organization is one of the keys to achieving a successful digital transformation journey.

Digital transformation projects are being crunched and planned for shorter implementation periods. CIOs should be aware of the number of times they have had to change plans midway through a project because of sudden technology innovation. Added to this predicament is the pressure of the race to transformation – in which they compete with their peers in the market. This fast pace of evolving technology is making stability and long term planning very challenging.

It is clear that digital transformation is no longer a journey with an end; it is an ongoing process of continuous up-gradation and adoption. Enterprises should continually stay acquainted with new technology in the industry. Indeed, the role of the CIO itself is rapidly evolving and becoming more dynamic – from being focused on operational planning to strategic level thinking.

Within the next few years, the deployment of what is today considered industry-defining technologies will become a reality. This will make the role of a CIO even more critical, a strategic decision-maker submerged in collections of experimental data sets.

However, experts question whether CIOs are making the right investment for matching up with tomorrow’s demands? According to recent studies, data analytics, cloud, and security will be the focal point of spending over the next three years.

These three areas are that are key to modern data management in a networked world. CIOs know that information and data processing is becoming more critical, and taking steps to get the best use out of that information and protecting it comprises the primary concern. Rather than investing in technologies like- 5G, IoT, or Augmented Reality, which is used to manage data, CIOs should first focus on generating new data sets.

This is indicative of a mindset that managing and organizing data is more important than generating new data using disruptive technologies. However, the investment pattern will change as technologies become more mainstream, and ecosystems are developed enough to support them. Post this; the amount of data that will be generated could far exceed anything that has come before. This requires real-time analysis and response, which, creates even more headaches and complications for those in the CIO sphere.

It would make sense then, that CIOs prioritize investments that help to manage data before today’s emerging technologies become mainstream. But, before they penetrate the market, shaking up industries, networks need to be more agile to manage the massive data flow better. Globalization and digitalization allow firms to enter new markets and set up customer bases quickly.

With such rapid change, the operating environment will soon be an unclear world where machines outnumber human users on the internet; data gathered from many different sources will require to be processed in data centers. These data centers should be future-proofed, set up in the right geographic location, and not operate under comparable laws.

‘Network agility’ is the key investment priority amongst forward-looking CIOs. The ability to provision a network to a new location or data center instantaneously is essential to divert suspect traffic on the network to the cloud for analysis. It is equally important to schedule and scale the bandwidth use across the entire digital ecosystem real-time to send out software updates to IoT products in a controlled way. CIOs prioritizing investments rightly will give the organization the ability to manage the upcoming data tsunami in an organized manner.

The CIOs who cannot manage this tech wave will certainly flounder, while those having an infrastructure capable of adapting promptly to future opportunities will keep building on the ongoing process of digital transformation, reshaping their industries.