Top 4 challenges facing CIO’s and IT Leaders in 2019

The arrival of game-changing technologies like mobile apps, social media, cloud computing has brought forth a new standard in the operational & decision-making process for many businesses. The CIO’s and IT Leaders role continues to undergo a transformation that is driving business leaders closer to customer demands and experiences.

CIO challenges are complex and enormous. Below are few significant challenges facing CIO’s and IT Leaders this year

1. Digitalization of business process

The only constant in today’s businesses is the change. Some companies were born in the digital age, but for large enterprises, digital transformation is a continued adoption of IT tools and culture.

A recent survey from Gartner finds that nearly half of all businesses have started a digital transformation project in fear of losing ground to competitors.

In the case of the manufacturing industry, the way in which products are manufactured, services are delivered, and how business is conducted is changing. The increasingly competitive landscape is putting intense pressure on manufacturers, who still rely on traditional processes and legacy systems to incorporating digital technologies to increase the ability to deliver fast services, attract more customers, and increase profitability.

According to Riverbed survey with the CIO’s in 2018, the biggest challenges in digital business strategies are budget constraints (51%), overly complex or rigid legacy IT infrastructure (45%), and a lack of full visibility across the digital or end-user experience (40%).

Cloud technologies, such as data analytics, IoT, the blockchain, ML, AI, VR, and 5G networks, are the key drivers in overcoming digital transformation challenges.

2.The transformation from Managing Costs to Driving Revenues

For the modern CIO, balance is the name of the game. IT leaders must increasingly uncover a balance between innovation and overseeing conventional IT duties.

According to the State of CIO report, 72 percent of respondents said that balancing business innovation and operational excellence is an ongoing challenge.

Currently, CIO’s mandate changes from value preservation to value creation, optimizing IT investments has become a top priority for them and their stakeholders. Innovation investments can empower CIO’s to contribute directly to top-line growth. But today’s innovation investment can become tomorrow’s operational expense and it’s crucial to understand the long-term total cost of ownership of these innovation investments.

3. Balancing security & accessibility to improve governance

You can’t write about CIO challenges and ignore security. With large data breaches happening on a regular basis, no CIO will ignore security in the coming years. The present challenge facing IT Leaders is delivering effective security while sustaining agility and data access. CIO’s must create ways to secure data such that it doesn’t hinder the business or accessibility.

All data is not equally important, so all data need not adhere to the strictest of controls. IT Leaders will have to evaluate which data needs high levels of governance and which data needs standard governance. The below table from the Federal Information Processing Standards covers the categorization of information and the potential impact definitions for each security objective.

One of the fact that not many companies are aware of is all business must be compliant to the European Union Global Data Privacy Regulation to do business or to have any customers in that region,

4. Technological Disruption

Big data, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence are set to disrupt the market once they gain momentum. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) promises to enable software to replace human transaction processing that has historically been expensive to automate. AI promises to be smart enough to detect flaws or data changes and self-correct.

Gartner Predicts that by next year Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and mixed reality, which combines both the aspects will be used by 20 percent of large businesses around the globe.
Real-Time Language Translation, Human-Machine Interfaces, and Quantum Computing are few technologies that will surprise CIO’s in the following years according to Gartner.

The coming years will be tiring but an exciting time for the CIOs around the globe. A key goal for many IT Leaders will be to implement a company-wide transformation from being a service provider to a business partner, who is focused on strategic business results and guiding organizations closer to its customers.

The above are just a few significant challenges facing CIOs and IT leaders in the coming year, but the list could unquestionably be longer. Would you add anything to this list? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

By JeyaMani Maran

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