In today’s unpredictable economic environment, the role of the CIO has never been more important. As such, CIOs are now tasked with not only managing IT operations but also finding ways to drive business value and ensure continued success in this evolving landscape.
The CIO’s main responsibility is to ensure that an organization’s IT operations run smoothly and efficiently, while also supporting the overall goals of the business. In the current economic climate, achieving that can be a tall order, especially given the rapidly changing technology landscape and the ongoing pressure to keep costs under control. However, by making a few smart moves, you can achieve a more efficient IT organization that can better support your business goals even in the face of a challenging environment.
Here are six moves that CIOs should make to achieve a more efficient IT organization:
Optimize cloud spend: Cloud computing has become a crucial component of many organizations’ IT infrastructure, but it can also be a major expense. Global information technology (IT) spending on devices, including PCs, tablets, mobile phones, printers, as well as data centre systems, enterprise software, and communications services came to US$4.26 trillion in 2021. By conducting a financial health check on your technology budget, you can identify opportunities to reduce running costs and free up funds to invest in new technology capabilities. Specifically, you should look at your organization’s new areas of technology spending and scrutinize the bills from your cloud providers to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.
Automate more business processes: Automation is key to achieving greater efficiency in your IT operations. By using robotic process automation (RPA) and other forms of intelligent automation, you can free up your talent for higher-value, more strategic activities. Furthermore, automation can help you address talent supply issues by doing more with fewer people. RPA is already being used by over 78 per cent of companies, with an additional 16 per cent planning to implement it in the next 3 years.
Manage supplier/vendor expenses: Suppliers and vendors play a crucial role in your IT operations, but they can also be major expenses. By talking to your suppliers about the cost squeeze you’re facing, you might be pleasantly surprised by their willingness to work with you to find cost-saving solutions. Additionally, you should also consider consolidating your supplier base to reduce the number of vendors you need to manage and negotiate with. Research shows that the average company has 3,000 suppliers for US$1 billion in spending.
Embrace digital transformation: Digital transformation is the process of using technology to fundamentally change how you do business. By embracing digital transformation, you can improve your organization’s efficiency and competitiveness, and enable new business models, products and services. Gartner reports that 91 per cent of businesses are engaged in some form of digital initiative, and 87 per cent of senior business leaders say digitalization is a priority.
Invest in security: Security is a critical component of your IT operations, and it’s essential to keep your organization’s data, applications and systems safe from cyber threats. Investing in security can help you achieve a more efficient IT organization by reducing the risk of data breaches and other security incidents, which can be costly and disruptive. The average organization spends only 10 per cent of its IT budget on security, according to a recent survey.
Leverage data analytics: Data analytics can help you gain valuable insights into your IT operations, and make data-driven decisions that can improve efficiency. By leveraging data analytics, you can identify areas of your IT operations that are underperforming, and make changes that can improve performance and reduce costs. 97.2 per cent of companies say they are investing in big data and AI projects, while only 24 per cent of companies describe their organizations as data-driven. As Pearl Zhu, author of Decision Master: The Art and Science of Decision Making, points out: “Both the art of intuition and the science of analytics have the role to play in making wise decisions”