In recent years, the role of the modern CIO has been in flux. It’s becoming more and more of a balancing act to manage traditional IT operations while also driving strategic objectives, with transformational change at the top of the priority list.
As firms head into 2022, one thing is certain: This is a period of immense change for businesses as a whole. Much of it is driven by digital disruption and increasing customer expectations, and forward-thinking businesses are seizing the opportunity.
Here are a few challenges that CIOs will face in 2022.
Take responsibility for new business areas
A few years ago, there was a significant trend for CIOs to add new tasks to their job titles: in addition to information, it was usual to find tech chiefs taking on responsibility for technology, digital, and product. CIOs were able to respond to the rise of CDOs (both chief digital and data officers) thanks to some of these new areas of authority. CIOs have been able to demonstrate their worth to their companies over the last two years. They will, however, have to take on greater responsibilities in the future. Many CIOs will be involved in overseeing the shift to hybrid work, so expect more responsibility for areas like facilities, people, and operations.
Take customer experience to a new level
CIOs put a greater emphasis on customer experience initiatives in 2021. It was hard to speak with CIOs without hearing about the importance of customer experiences, whether for internal users or external clients, from the refining of home-working programs to the deployment of new e-commerce channels. The greatest CIOs will take their attention on customer experience to a new level in 2022. They will reach out to a broader network of partners, ranging from large tech companies to fleet-of-foot startups. They will concentrate on how their companies use data to give customers personalized products and services.
Promote technology as a source of value
For years, CIOs have been instructed to make sure they are in sync with the rest of the company. However, if they are not doing that role by now, they are most likely in the wrong position. Since technology is so linked with business outcomes, any CIO would be unable to limit their focus to operational matters. During the last two years, IT leaders have gained a lot of support for their efforts to accelerate digital transformation plans. They should now demonstrate how technical innovations ranging from artificial intelligence to virtual reality can help their company identify new markets and generate new revenue streams.
As organizations use automation, proceed with caution
There are a variety of tools that claim to make the application development process easier, ranging from robotic process automation (RPA) to low-code technologies. Automation, on the other hand, should come with a warning: while these tools might help IT teams with their day-to-day tasks, someone must ensure that new applications fulfill high dependability and security criteria. Since increased automation will need IT professionals to spend more time engaging and overseeing, businesses should prioritize training and development to ensure that employees are prepared for a shift in responsibilities.
Shape the IT department of the future
With all the talk about automation and low-code development, it’s easy to think that the IT department’s traditional role is done. The opposite could not be further from the truth. Yes, the tech team will change, but talented developers who collaborate with their business counterparts will continue to be a valuable and highly prized commodity. CIOs will need to think carefully about the chances they provide in order to attract and retain IT staff. Work will become an activity that one undertakes in a collaborative manner, independent of location, rather than a place to go. Businesses should allow employees the flexibility and freedom they desire.