The best companies, and their CIOs, recognize the importance of ready access to the right information to drive the right choices between different variables.
There will never be a time when IT directors can, but with the economic turmoil of today concerns are extremely high. On the security front, internal and external threats are on the increase, especially as the enterprise boundary continues to increase with the growth of mobile and wireless based applications. Keeping the business operating in the face of existing economic conditions, security threats, whether against the systems themselves, or against the business and the environment in which it operates is part of any CIO’s basic role.
The top ten concerns are:
- Budgets – Budgets have never been tighter. Since the dot com bubble burst where IT budgets were pared to the bone, organizations are striving to keep a really tight control over them, even though they still need innovative IT to keep ahead of the competition. Smart CIOs are seeing savings through standardization of the IT infrastructure so new systems can be financed without increasing budgets.
- Staffing – People are an organization’s most valuable asset. For CIO they are not only the most valuable, they are causing the most headaches as well. Recruiting, managing and training staff are the most pressing concerns for CIOs
- Security – Internal and external threats are on the increase, especially as enterprises continue to increase the growth of mobile and wireless based applications. Keeping the business operating in the face of threats, whether against the systems themselves, or against the business and the environment are a major component of CIO’s role.
- Compliance – Security and compliance work together for CIOs as many governance and compliance regulations were spawned from risk management and directly affect security. For many companies regulatory compliance is now part of everything they do. This has allowed the CIO to understand exactly what resources and processes an organization has and to increase efficiency and throughput as a result.
- Resource Management – Managing time and resources are a major concern for CIOs. Enterprise management now demands more efficient working. CIO now are now using more of their time and resources they used to spend on legacy maintenance on more produce to manage critically short supplies of resources.
- Infrastructure – Updating technology infrastructures and keeping the backbone of an organization’s IT up to date is another top concern for CIOs.
- Business Alignment – Keeping IT strategy in line with business strategy is something at which CIOs have become masters but it is still one of the areas that causes a lot of work and is resource heavy.
- Managing Users – CIOs must prioritize the needs of their users and customers. Dealing with users while improving the quality of service for users is a constant for all IT departments. More CIOs are putting metrics in place to see just how well they are doing. Excellent customer service and cost effectiveness in driving the business forward are the two overlying themes for many businesses. The aim is to lift the bar on customer service, on cost effectiveness and on the capabilities of service offerings and people.
- Managing Change – The fast moving pace of technological innovation means change is a guaranteed part of the CIO’s role. But the way they manage its effect on the business is more critical. Arguably, the most significant management issue that CIOs have to face this year is change management – business process change, changes in organizational cultures and how they affect people are very high on the CIO’s agenda.
- Organizational Politics – To manage change and integration effectively, CIOs need the support of their senior management team. The success of change management programs and the contribution IT can make to those depend heavily on the support and drive of senior managers. If the CIO lines of report – CEO, CFO or COO -understand the power of transformational IT investment and if a CIO can educate and communicate what is possible, IT should be a key enabler for business and process change. Many companies are going through massive change and integration programs, all of which need board support to succeed.