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  • Yoav Tchelet

5 Things that keep CIO’s/CTO’s up at night

Are you interested in learning about five of the things that keep CIO’s/CTO’s up at night?

Two of the professionals involved in business transformations and digital transformations are the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Technology Officer (CTO).


Both of these positions are quite similar, but they do have their slight differences. In general, they both deal with information technology, and generally make up the most senior roles in a business. This means that they have a lot of responsibility when it comes to keeping the business safe and progressive in terms of technology. Both of these roles essentially determine and supervise the technology strategy of the business and, barring other more recent role designations, are the two most senior technology oriented positions in a business.


Due to all the responsibility that these professionals have, there are things that can keep them up at night. In this article, I am going to be taking a look at what some of these things are. As such, if you would like to find out more about this topic, keep reading down below.


Cybersecurity


he first thing that keeps these professionals up at night is cybersecurity. Unfortunately, with the advancements in technology comes with it, more people who are mastering how to get around it. The problem with this is that not all of them are interested in using their skills for good, and instead take it upon themselves to hack into other people’s networks and systems. Some of these people do it because they want access to the information that the business has. Some of them do it so that they can steal the information and then hold it for ransom (for financial gain). And, some of them do it simply because they can. It is the job of the CIO/CTO to help put practices into place so that this doesn’t happen to their company. Of course, there are other professionals around to help with this.


Coming up with strategies to keep other people out of the business is not always easy. One of the things that needs to be done is ensuring that your firewalls are correctly configured, patched and monitored regularly. If there aren’t enough qualified staff in the business address this, then you’re going to need to look into firewall management services. As such, it will be down to the CIO/CTO to sort this out, and ensure that the network is protected.


It’s true to say that there is much more to cybersecurity than just your firewall/s. There is antivirus software, there are anti malware software solutions, penetration testing, policies and procedures, employee awareness training, regular audits, and so many other things that are required in order to keep the hackers out. The reason that this keeps CIO’s/CTO’s up is because no matter what you do, it is never possible to 100% guarantee that no one will be able to break into your business network.


Digital Strategy


Another thing that CIO’s/CTO’s are going to be kept up at night by is digital strategy. Using technology to increase business performance is important, especially with the fast paced rate of change of technology. If you are not utilising it to the very best of your ability, you are going to need to make some changes sooner rather than later. But, how can you use technology to make your business better?


That’s something that they have got to figure out, even though the solution might not be evident in the beginning, there is always going to be one.

It might mean that new products need to be created, or it could simply be that the processes currently used by the business need to be reimagined. The digital strategy will lay out the specifics for how the business is going to be taking a new direction and creating new competitive examples.

There are a number of components that make up a successful digital strategy. Some of these are as follows:

  • Digital marketing

  • Online presence

  • Online security

  • Mobile based solutions

  • Selling online

  • Customer Experience

  • Efficiencies through technology

There are, of course, more than just these, but these are some of the main ones. All of this must be taken into account when it comes to a digital strategy, and there is an enormous amount of work both from a people and process level and technology perspective. If things go wrong, then the business is going to be hamstrung and on the back foot, which puts a lot of pressure on the strategy.


Customer Experience


If you want to keep customers coming back to your business, or if you want to attract new customers, then customer experience is essential. There are a number of elements that make up customer experience, but the general idea of it is that you want to make the whole process as simple and pain free for your customers as possible. Some companies require you to search through their website for half an hour before you actually find what you are looking for. Most people aren’t going to bother doing this, and are going to leave to find a website where they don’t have to click more than three times to find what they are looking for.

Customer experience also extends to social media and all other aspects of the business, including customer service. The one thing that you don’t want as a business is for your customers to have a bad experience. Customer experience is focused on the way that consumers behave throughout your process. The reason that this might keep a CIO or CTO up is because if the customer experience isn’t fantastic, you’re going to lose customers, or simply stop gaining them.


Don’t forget that people talk, and they are not likely to recommend a business that they didn’t enjoy their experience with. One of the roles of the CIO and CTO is to support enterprise goals, and gaining more customers surely counts in this. As such, making sure that the online and technology aspect of customer experience is up to scratch falls on these shoulders. It’s not an easy task to complete.


Future Of Work


With all the changes that are being made in the technology industry, who knows how long humans are going to be needed to operate certain pieces of tech? It is not possible to know if in the future, humans are no longer going to be required to do things such as build websites or even manage technology as a whole. With all the advancements that are being worked on, it wouldn’t be surprising to a lot of people if a piece of technology came to the market that could do all of this without human input. The current shift to hybrid and work from home arrangements globally have accelerated this process and shift.


The thing that separates humans and AI is the fact that humans have the capacity to feel emotions and morality. However, when it comes to business, this could be seen as a massive weakness. In some cases, emotions get in the way of making the best possible choice, which is something that AI would never have an issue with. It could be for this reason that CIO’s and CTO’s are worried about the future of their work. If there is no longer a need for them, what happens from there?


AI And Automation


AI and automation are taking over a large portion of the industry already. More and more businesses are including automation in their business in order to increase the efficiency of the business. Computers and other pieces of technology can do things a lot faster than humans can, which is one bonus they have over using humans to complete tasks. A business can get much more done using automation than they will be able to using humans, which means that the smart business decision is to go with automation. It may not be necessarily cheaper and doesn’t mean that human processes will be completely eliminated, but it does mean that the speed and agility of a business will be greatly increased and repetitive tasks delegated to a computer.


CIO’s and CTO’s also know that the smart business choice would be to go with automation where it is available. But, as more automation is introduced into a business, the less humans are needed are for mundane and repetitive tasks. CIO’s and CTO’s might be worried about the capability of the AI to control things though. There may be some things that don’t have a logical or rational problem, which also means that the automated process won’t be able to solve it. This is where humans come in handy, but trying to explain this to a business owner who is trying to keep up with latest trends, and stay competitive on the market might not be the easiest thing on the planet.

I hope that you have found this article helpful, and these five topics are only some of the myriad of responsibilities and areas of focus for CIO’s and CTO’s. Each of these can be worrisome for these professionals, but understanding how to solve the issue is part of their job. It is the job of these professionals to ensure that information and technology is effectively managed, but it is a task that is becoming increasingly difficult the more advanced technology becomes. There are also some concerns about how long positions like this are going to be around which can cause a lot of stress.




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