Hard to believe, but 2023 is just around the corner. After dealing with the health crisis in 2020, the general focus has been on the new year ahead with the hope that it will be that of a “new normal”. What none of us knew then, but fully accept today, is that this new normal continues to be marked by strong global instability.
In addition to the persistent economic and political uncertainty, this is also fueled by the adoption of teleworking, the increasing frequency of cyberattacks and increasingly complex regulations in terms of security, finance and ESG (Environment, Social and Governance).
While there is no doubt that the initial objective of many CIOs, in responding to these issues, will be to ensure the survival and compliance of the company in the short term, it is vital not to lose sight of the objectives in the long term: digital transformation.
Also, each DSI should look into five essential points in 2023:
1 – Invest in resilience and flexibility to deal with the unexpected
If the past year has taught us an important lesson it’s that the ability to adapt quickly to change is the key to success in times of crisis. Of course, this is much easier to achieve with a cloud-first strategy, yet two-thirds of IT workloads remain on-premises.
Of course, this is understandable: keeping your information on a central computer gives you the feeling of better control over it, which is all the more important when operating in highly regulated environments. However, mainframe-driven change and innovation take months, in a world where every second counts.
It is also extremely expensive to evolve into technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning that will allow the company not only to react, but also to predict and anticipate. That’s why Gartner predicts that by 2027, about half of enterprises will use industrial cloud platforms to accelerate more than 50% of their key business initiatives. Last year, this figure was less than 10%.
In 2023, all CIOs will need to invest in secure cloud solutions they can trust. It will be necessary to be able to adapt and evolve more quickly than before.
2 – Preparing the talents of tomorrow
With the pressure on businesses to perform more efficiently, while meeting increasingly complex customer demands, the war for talent is far from over. It’s no surprise, then, that 94% of senior tech executives say finding and retaining talent has become an increasingly important part of their daily lives.
With the market for tech profiles more hyper-competitive than ever, attracting and retaining talent is now a key driver for businesses looking to thrive next year.
Unfortunately, for those who still rely heavily on mainframes, often built on a legacy language from the 1950s and 1960s, this problem is even greater. The old guard that speaks these COBOL languages is well advanced in retirementand young developers instead choose to focus on newer, more engaging, and more innovative technologies.
Rather than trying to recruit profiles trained in aging technologies, we must invest in the future and move to Azure. The good news is that if the big players in the market continue to quietly shed their talent in a desperate attempt to cut costs, a wealth of trained and talented people will be available.
3 – Reduce costs without compromising continuity
It goes without saying that in times of uncertainty, this phrase is part of almost every conversation. While CIOs expect IT budgets to grow by 5.1% on average in 2023, this remains below the expected inflation rate of 6.5% and so it will be important to spend efficiently, while providing value.
This is what many companies say, and they also talk about the pressure they are under to reduce costs without reducing services or strategic commitments, that is, doing more with less. There are, of course, many ways to achieve this: re-evaluate vendor contracts, delay technology purchases, and reduce hiring.
However, it also makes sense to decommission obsolete and redundant infrastructure, such as expensive mainframes, and move operations to the cloud, where you can guarantee a cost reduction of at least 50%. A figure that would make any CEO smile.
4 – Continue to break down silos to innovate more effectively
The directors of technology and information systems are formal and unanimous: it is always an absolute priority. Of course, the level of innovation will depend on your organization and the industry you work in, but a predictive, immersive, real-time customer experience transcends just about anything.
Regardless of how mature the business is, investing in Superapps, adaptive AI, and Metaverse readiness will be essential, all of which Gartner cited in its top 10 technology trends for 2023. Research shows that most enterprises will spend a significant portion of their IT budget on these technologies, with software investments expected to increase by 11.3%, compared to just 3.4% for data center systems.
The numbers speak for themselves, if R&D is going one way, why go the other – it’s madness. Staying focused on a strategy imagined around the central computer, on site, means choosing to slow down the transformation of the company, its agility and the reduction of costs.
5 – Take part in conversations around ESG
Environmental sustainability continues to climb the ranks of CEOs’ strategic priorities. Gartner now ranks it eighth, up from thirteenth in 2020. CIOs have a clear role to play in this area, as the ability to access transparent and reliable data is critical to measuring progress in achieving of its objectives.
IT is therefore vital to the success of any ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) strategy. It is also important for CIOs to ensure that the company’s overall IT strategy takes its own environmental impact into account and tries to reduce it as much as possible, where possible. The best way to sit at the ESG table is to make sure your data is in an environment that can deliver that information in real time, using as little energy and resources as possible.
If the last years of instability have taught us anything, it’s that those able to react more quickly are those who fare better in crises. With at least another 12-18 months of chaos on the horizon, it’s time for leaders to be honest with themselves and take definitive action on recruiting, agility, cost reduction, innovation and sustainability. Those who don’t will have little chance of getting out.
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Five Things CIOs Should Be Doing In 2023
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