With rapid technological adjustments, CIOs are empowered to work on different goals by rethinking their IT strategy.
The importance of achieving operational excellence and innovation has significantly increased amongst enterprises. With innovation – both internal and external, enterprises can hope to grow at a rapid pace, better serve their customers, and positively impact revenue. On the other hand, operational excellence, when supported by a strong DevOps culture in place, can help enterprises to drive the speed of innovation, enhance productivity, accelerate time-to-market as well as boost reliability and quality. However, according to the 2021 State of the CIO survey, 76% of IT leaders find it challenging to obtain the right balance between business innovation and operational excellence. This has been due to the increased focus on functional tasks brought about by the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today most CEOs are focused on driving innovation that is concentrated for customer-facing projects which generate revenue or increase competitiveness. But, in doing so, they are neglecting to improve the performance of internal or back-office systems. Thus, for CIOs, it has become a challenge to execute on the former without neglecting the latter while staying within budget. Therefore, CIOs should rethink their approach towards strategizing and work on best practices and principles that enable them to drive innovation as well as deliver operational excellence.
Investing in solving multiple challenges
Addressing multiple workflows and infrastructure at a time has become difficult due to the constantly changing landscape that enterprises are witnessing. Therefore, while considering investments in innovation or operational excellence, CIOs should seek ways that enable them to do things more efficiently and deliver added customer value at the same time. Though addressing customer value and efficiency can be a little tricky and will require extra planning, it will enable the IT leaders to address multiple challenges with a single investment of time and money.
Embracing automation in targeted processes
All enterprises have certain expense categories that include compliance and security. In such situations, it is important to ensure to optimize spending through automation and look for investments that will effectively scale. In fact, automating business and IT processes were among a number of activities that have steadily increased in importance over the past year, as per IDG’s 2021 State of the CIO Executive Summary. Around 81% of respondents said they expect it to become more important over the next six to twelve months. This will also enable CIOs to focus their resources on value-driving activities instead of squandering limited IT resources on repetitive ‘mandatory’ tasks.
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Taking advantage of market shifts or disruptions to invest in IT
Many enterprises, when faced with challenges involving financial uncertainty or similar seismic marketplace shifts, take a step back. However, the organizations that embrace these shifts can bounce back quickly and become more resilient when they have the necessary means to innovate faster.
Nearly 82 percent of 2021 State of the CIO Executive Summary survey respondents have stated that they have implemented new technologies, IT strategies or methodologies due to the pandemic. Among the top business initiatives that drive IT investments, 36% of CIOs stated transforming existing business processes is their utmost priority, followed by strengthening cybersecurity protections (34%) and improving customer experience (33%).
The pandemic has helped IT enterprises to realize they can make the necessary changes to change the way they operate. As it recedes, many CIOs will likely return to familiar priorities that drive business innovation, refresh business and IT strategy and implement new systems and architectures. But, hopefully, the experience of having to make rapid technological changes out of necessity has changed the way that CIOs approach new tasks, enabling them to recognize it to drive innovation and operational excellence simultaneously.