The leadership challenges facing CIOs in 2020

Posted by Rudy Mitra on Feb 9, 2020 5:47:13 PM
Rudy Mitra
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The leadership challenges facing CIOs in 2020

The role of the CIO is now more important than ever. Digital transformation has expanded the role from something purely IT-based into one that is strategic and highly visible within an organisation.

So, what are the key challenges that CIOs are going to encounter in 2020? We’ve outlined the top five below along with suggestions for solving them.


Dealing with disruption

Disruption is now part of our everyday lives. Think about Uber, Airbnb, TikTok and Duolingo - they are all examples of disruptor brands. It takes someone particularly strategic in their thinking to deal with disruption – be it within the business with emerging work models or externally via the threat of competitor disruption and innovation.

One way to get ahead of the pack is to implement robotic process automation (RPA) to free up some time for your organisation's employees to focus on innovating and progressing in the market, meaning disruption will be less of an issue (or one you have more time to focus on).

RPA has already had a huge impact on productivity within businesses and allows individuals to do more thinking and less mundane tasks. As our CEO Alex Gambotto says “By removing the need for humans to do boring, repetitious work that can be otherwise automated, there are time and money savings that can be achieved by businesses, and the time that is saved allows employees to pursue meaningful projects that stimulate them and increase their enjoyment of work.”


Expanding responsibility

As technology needs grow within businesses, so does the responsibility of the CIO.

We’re seeing more and more CIOs taking on strategy focussed work, where previously their roles were more project-based. Digital transformation and the increasing speed at which technology is moving mean CIOs are much more closely aligned with CMOs and HR leadership, given the huge technological need these departments have. 

Beyond relationship management and technology selection and implementation, CIOs are also expected to:

  • Innovate and iterate
  • Undertake customer analysis and value creation
  • Manage budgets
  • Source and manage suppliers
  • Lead and motivate highly skilled teams

Sometimes an additional headcount or a short-term project manager could make the load a bit lighter, couldn’t it? If so, we’re always here to help (shameless plug!).


Leveraging analytics

Data is king (or the new oil, depending on who you’re talking to).

With investment in technology at an all-time high, there needs to be management and analytics to show us what’s working and what’s not. This helps create a business case for more budgetary support for new platforms and determines where cuts can be made and if there are better uses of software and employee time.

Of course, all of this beautiful data brings with it two issues to consider – how to analyse it and how to protect it. Backup and recovery, cloud and cyber security solutions allow for it to be managed safely, and in doing so, frees up time for your team to work out what the data means and how you should pivot to grow your business.


Scaling innovations

It’s one thing to innovate. It’s another altogether to scale that innovation, particularly before your competitors catch on and start replicating your work.

Innovation can occur externally – by way of product, service delivery or processes for customers. And it can happen internally to improve productivity, IT, HR, systems and so much more. Either way, chances are you’ll need to deploy some cloud-based solutions as they allow you to scale quickly and easily and are generally more cost-effective in the long run that their alternatives.


Scouting talent

It’s not news that the IT industry is experiencing a skills shortage in some areas. Be it attracting local talent or working to find overseas staff for your business, both take significant time and money.

Recruiters can help, but the costs can be prohibitive for some businesses (or their policies just won’t allow it) and doing the process alone can take a lot of time. But an option that can be beneficial is short or long-term contractors to help fill the gaps while you find the right person for your team.

If you’d like to hear how we can help you overcome some of your leadership challenges and make your 2020 that much brighter, reach out today.   


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Rudy Mitra

Digital Marketing Coordinator


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