To effectively navigate the uncertainties the future holds, CIOs should take time and understand the top elements for prioritization.
While 2021 in its initial phase provided a promising year, especially for IT, it all came crashing down when nations across the world were hit with another wave. Even though most organizations implemented work-from-home policies and accelerated their digital transformation initiatives, this sudden wave of COVID caught them by surprise. The last-minute changes to their already in motion initiatives have left them with no choice but to rethink their IT projects.
With 2021 just around the corner, CIOs are starting to make plans for 2022. Given the fluctuation in the marketplace along with uncertainty, it is critical that CIOs focus on key areas to advance their organization.
Here are three priorities that should be the key areas for CIOs in 2022:
Emphasizing on cybersecurity
As per industry experts, many CIOs rank cybersecurity as their top priority for 2022. As cyber-attacks are becoming more frequent, sophisticated, and expensive to remediate, it is critical that CIOs implement a depth-of-defense approach. While integrating the latest security technologies is important, it is critical that CIOs should put a great deal of focus on fundamentals.
CIOs should ensure that their infrastructure has current patches, a robust endpoint security solution in place, and make and test backups. Moreover, they should have an incident response plan and practice it frequently to learn from it. Furthermore, CIOs should check their readiness against the ISACA Capabilities Maturity Model Integration to create an incremental plan addressing all areas of security bit-by-bit.
Even though focusing on the latest technologies is appealing, CIOs should emphasize bolstering their fundamental security capabilities. This will ensure that their systems are not vulnerable to basic attacks.
Having strategic alignment
The last couple of years have left CIOs with no option but to focus on managing and responding to changes brought about by the proliferation of the COVID.
In the past couple of years, IT teams have significantly focused on addressing emerging demands such as remote work and virtual business. While this has helped them to meet the operational needs of the organization, the time has come for them to refocus on strategic alignment. CIOs should understand that the way their business is advancing towards the future is much different than the one where it was headed pre-2020. Hence, it is critical that they remain well-informed about their business objectives.
CIOs should evaluate which IT initiatives can help them to run their business and which are the ones intended to improve their business. If they fail to address basic IT operational issues, their other efforts will be wasted.
To survive in the enterprise environment, CIOs should have a workforce that is ready to take on new technological challenges. Therefore, after performing skills assessment, CIOs should tell which of their staff members they should train on existing or emerging technologies. This enables CIOs to develop tomorrow’s emerging leaders while enhancing the individual knowledge uptake.
In the next step, CIOs should identify technological areas that are not possible to grow in-house talent in time. For such areas, CIOs should consider managed services. While this is often expensive, it is worth the investment when considering alternatives such as security monitoring or inexperienced staff team members that are trying to deal with security issues.
Lastly, CIOs should become flexible while hiring completely remote staff to assist their onsite one. They should ensure that their management teams have the required skills to manage in-house and remote staff as a team. They should set clear expectations around how to manage and flex on-site with remote staff.