Tech crises, staff shortages, cybersecurity issues… changes for the modern CIO

Tech crises, staff shortages, cybersecurity issues and company culture - what other challenges and changes does the modern CIO face?

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Significant technology shifts and external factors have changed many job roles, including CIOs.

But how have CIOs had to adapt? What does their future look like?

Raconteur recently unveiled their CIO Focus for 2022 report which looks at the shifting role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) from tech expert to strategic business leader in quick succession, yet it continues to expand – will there be a limit?

Digital transformations are essential for companies to grow, where data, automation and user experience are key for 2022 as CIOs face increased pressure from all sides. IT leaders are expecting more from them, yet they continue to face ongoing uncertainties including the ongoing implications of the pandemic and Brexit, hybrid working, rise in AI adoption and transitions towards net zero.

Covid-19 has encouraged us all to maximise our efficiency, yet it is questionable as to how CIOs can do so when they are already being stretched so far and face difficulty over the role itself. This pressure links to IT decision makers revealing they would hold CIOs equally responsible of cyber security attacks with their CEO at 25%, after CTOs at 31%, therefore they remain conflicted with the balance of being a tech leader versus a business leader.

63% of CIOs say business and leadership skills are more important than technology skills.

Conor Whelan, CIO at Experian (a multinational consumer credit reporting company) believes operational resilience isn’t about the technology in place, but having the right people and processes to deal with problems when they occur.

Whilst cybersecurity remains a top priority for the CIO, so does the need for talent and operational observability. Revised budgets have resulted in an influx for talent, with two thirds of the CIOs questioned revealed were unable to keep up with the change their business requires due to a lack of available talent. Skills in particularly short supply include cybersecurity (43%), demand for which has risen by 23% over the last 12 months alone; big data and data analytics (40%) and technical architects (34%).

How CIOs are changing their team’s priorities: Percentage of global CIOs who say they are likely to expand the following IT activities for full-time employees

CIOs are changing their team’s priorities in line with their digital transformation, to identify and choose appropriate technologies and security features to protect the company.

For companies to remain ahead of the game, CIOs are making use of fullstack technologies and adopt a digital first model. This way, the modern CIO can keep up with increased pressure and strategically guide their organization towards success, whether that be achieving financial or ESG driven goals.

Priorities and takeaways for the CIO
  • They are a strategic member of the C-Suite, not just a tech specialist
  • Recruit and educate teams with new skillsets
  • Operational resilience is key for remaining agile and strategic
  • Deliver fullstack capabilities
  • To succeed, look outwards and place the customer at the centre of their efforts

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