Cybersecurity, digital transformation, cloud computing and retaining IT talent are among the top priorities for CIOs this year.
The revelations were made by Partner Sales Head at Cisco Systems Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana, Kuda Mlingo, Unga Group ICT infrastructure Lead, Bernard Njukia, and Manager Datacenter and Networks at SBM, Bernard Kotonya, during a panel discussion themed Priority Areas For CIOs in 2022 at the Down To Earth (DTE) Tech Day event on Thursday. The session was moderated by Evelyn Wangu Kamau Snr Territory Manager EA at VMware.
The panellists said cybersecurity will be a top priority for CIOs as they strive to defend their networks, applications and data from malicious attacks. Particularly, as organisations adopted remote working and developed applications to meet consumer demands during the Covid-19 pandemic, cybersecurity threats have increased in the last two years.
Covid-19 also changed consumers’ behaviours as they embraced digital experiences. According to Kuda, organisations will prioritise creating applications to meet the new consumer demands.
“Cloud computing has been driven by the way our customers want to consume products. Everything is moving to the cloud now. Everything is application-driven,” he said.
Kotonya said the top priority for the banking industry this year will be mobile banking.
“The top priority for banks will be mobile banking to meet changing consumer behaviour. At SBM, our key priority is mobile banking,” he said.
However, he noted that the heavy regulation of the banking sector by the government limits the industry’s technology adoption.
Njukia said the top priority for the Unga Group IT department this year is automation of their processes and retaining talent.
“We are prioritizing automation and retaining internal skills so that we have the right people who can do the job,”
As organisations undergo digital transformation, the headache for CIOs is cybersecurity, getting the right people for the job and complying with government regulations. Currently, there is a shortfall of IT talent in Africa and this stands in the way of digital innovation.
Kuda said while Kenya is way ahead in terms of adoption of technology compared to most African countries, it still has a long way to go in terms of regulation of technology.