2023 has already started off incredibly for businesses – with major projects and transformations already underway. But, the pressure is on for CIOs in 2023 to deliver:
“Chief information officers are called upon to drive growth and transformation, not just keep the data center humming and enterprise software running.” – Venture Beat
These pressures in ways are promising, and CIOs are going to need to metaphorically “step-up” and stay ahead of the curve when it comes to securing great talent, driving change, and improving business unit performance.
There are four key areas that we believe CIOs should be looking at this year:
Strategy and Transformation go together – You can’t have one without the other! But to execute a stellar transformation, your strategy needs to be watertight, organised, and mobilised by the right people. Forbes produced a compelling piece on strategy and transformation for smaller organisations, highlighting that there are three key things to think about:
#1 Think big, start small
Your strategy can be as big (or as small) as you’d like – but it has the risk of becoming the former if you become engrossed in ideas and plans. Instead, use “big picture” thinking but break down your strategy into mindful chunks to make it more achievable.
#2 Strategy over technology
Technology is important, but don’t let it overpower your whole strategy. There is a fine balance between letting it sit on the back burner or allowing it to take over – so focus on meaningful technology and platforms instead to complement your strategy, not run it.
“Technology introduction is a strategic step toward digital transformation for businesses. However, any attempt to bring forth new and unique concepts through technology would be met with a defense if it didn’t align with what people want and believe. That is because most businesses prioritize multiple technologies rather than integrating the change into the entire business plan.”
#3 Manage data power dynamics
Forbes encapsulates this perfectly – be data-driven, but don’t let data take over every single decision you make – especially when building a strategy. In summary, take your data with a pinch of salt, nuance and human experience is also key.
Data Analytics are the best insights for you to get value out of anything you do – including transformation. Programmes are now being steered or determined by the Strategic Data Team. We recently conducted a Market Insight and Survey across clients in Media, Technology, Retail and Professional Services which were unanimous in stating that Data was at the top of their agenda for 2023
Race for Technology Talent
Although the hiring market has changed over the past 6+ months, the race for talent is still as strong as ever. Organisations have teams they need to expand, individuals they need to upskill and projects that need to be delivered on – and to do that you need exceptional people. Businesses are dependent on technology, and a lot of organisations are struggling to hire in areas such as Cloud Migration and Data.
Working with a great recruitment partner can ensure a reliable network of candidates to call upon, whether on a permanent or contract/interim basis. Naturally, business needs will determine whether you need the former or the latter – but hiring managers should keep an open mind depending on availability and budget.
AI & Automation
There are huge benefits to embracing AI and Automation. For some industries, understandably, this can feel “alien” – adopting new technology can take time and if there’s resistance or difficulties onboarding, it can feel like more hassle than it’s worth.
However, AI and Automation don’t need to be largely complex or difficult to implement. In fact, it can be simple things such as process automation or change management tools. Creately compiled a list of tools which span across strategy, change management, and analytics – all of which are easy to implement and can be utilised across small and also large organisations.
Our advice with AI and Automation would be the following:
#1 Don’t follow the crowd
There are hundreds of tools out there – and all of them have their pros and cons. Following what your competitor is doing or what the majority is doing may not be the best decision. Instead, focus on what will be the most beneficial – regardless of whether it’s more/less expensive or how long it takes to implement. It’s all about finding the right fit for you.
#2 Troubleshoot smaller areas first
When you “zoom out” and look at your organisation – it can be a default idea to immediately troubleshoot an area that is really struggling.
But, when you peel back the layers – it usually uncovers more profound issues which take longer to sort. We all know that change and transformation require patience and time, so focus on smaller areas which can be seen as quick wins as part of a larger project. Focus on where you can add immediate value.
#3 Ensure you have a watertight onboarding and transformation process
This goes without saying – but having a comprehensive understanding of the onboarding process will enable you to choose the right partner to onboard your team and get them excited about a new platform or software.
If you would like to learn more about how we are supporting our current and newly onboarded clients, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our specialists and we’d be happy to have a conversation with you.