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Business Transformation

The CIO agenda for 2022

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

The role of CIOs is changing as technology is changing businesses and reshaping how people communicate, work, and make decisions. CIOs are no longer just tech leaders – they are business drivers. IT must be aligned with business goals and move closer to the business core and the customers. This is essential for success, and will, therefore, dominate the CIO agenda in 2022.

These five subjects are – or should be – top of the CIO agenda in 2022:

1. Know the customers in-depth

In many companies, IT never meets the customers. Without a deep understanding of the customers, IT and the CIO will continue to be the executors of strategy rather than its shapers. The closer IT gets to the customers, the better IT can understand what customers value and what technology’s role should be in delivering that value. Also, developer teams are just as effective at spotting customer needs as product teams are, with the benefit that they can act on those observations immediately by translating them into code.

2. Put cloud at the center of your tech strategy

The cloud offers big opportunities, but many are struggling to capture the full value of cloud. The problem is often that companies perceive the cloud as a source of IT productivity improvements rather than as a source of transformative value. CIOs play a crucial role here in getting the business to focus on new business ideas and services that can benefit from cloud’s advantages of speed and scale.

3. Reach talents by creating the best workplace 

For years, it has been a huge challenge finding the right tech talents. Many companies have focused on finding top tech talent rather than focusing on creating a workplace where tech talents want to work. CIOs should attract talent by creating an internal culture that developers love. This involves giving developers space and the freedom to work without layers of bureaucracy that slow down work as well as providing them with world-class planning and development tools to make their work lives easier.

4. Make security and compliance a competitive parameter 

Security and compliance are cultural and managerial issues rather than technical ones. Security must be integrated into each stage of an agile product life cycle rather than being a check at the end. Further, CIOs can commit to a “security as code” approach which defines and automates cybersecurity policies and standards in coding work.

5. Go for data quality rather than data quantity 

The huge amount of data makes it extremely difficult to make sense of it all. Some companies experience ‘data drunkenness’ as they try to explore many different sources of data in an uncoordinated way. Data has become the beating heart of the business and should be treated that way. Therefore, CIOs should go for data quality over quantity. This requires effective data governance. Further, CIOs should develop an orchestration capability to link the many data – sensor data, inventory data, team management data, supplier pricing data, billing data, etc. This requires systems that collect, integrate, and manage target data sets.

Inspiration from McKinsey Digital: The CIO agenda for the next 12 months by Aamer Baig


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