The role of the CIO in navigating business uncertainty in 2023 and beyond. 

An image of , Business, The role of the CIO in navigating business uncertainty in 2023 and beyond. 

Uncertainty’ became the buzzword for many markets in 2022 and it looks like many of these challenges will remain in 2023, such as supply chain issues, the war in Ukraine, skills shortages, and the looming global recession. But what role does the CIO play in helping navigate a company through these uncertain times? Whilst economic uncertainty may force organizations to scale back on digital investments, CIOs learned some important lessons during the pandemic – especially that many organizations are now more resilient and adaptable to disruption. CIOs are no longer judged by their ability to maintain functioning IT systems. Instead, they have become leaders in shaping and driving business innovation.

According to Gartner, boards of directors are set to face the following major challenges in 2023: potential recession, long-term economic uncertainty, and long-term inflationary pressure. To cope with these challenges, CIOs should be focusing on three strategies: revolutionary work (delivering business results by creating a tech-enabled brand), responsible investment (securing cost-effective solutions that will give a return on financial and environmental sustainability), and resilient cybersecurity (protecting the intellectual property and data owned by the business). These three core areas will enable CIOs to foster sustainable growth within the business through its IT capabilites. Notably, CIOs and boards of directors have different motivators to consider going into 2023, but it will be down to the CIO to ensure that their core objectives fit with the boardroom agenda. 

Businesses will need to become more agile to weather the storm, cutting costs where possible whilst not forgetting the need to innovate. In times of recession, hasty decision-making is often conducted as businesses try to alleviate any pressures that could disrupt the day-to-day running of the business. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw that those with agile structures and the ability to innovate were able to succeed in times of global struggle. However, it is no longer enough to just implement technology, instead, CIOs must focus on strategic changes that can be scaled for the business to use across all its operations. 

WHAT ARE THE EXPECTATIONS OF CIOS IN 2023? 

Digital transformation is having a profound effect on how CIOs manage their IT organization. Over the past few years, an uneven race unfolded between businesses with the pandemic dividing organizations into those who were already prepared for digital and remote working and those who weren’t. While those that fell behind tried to close this gap, leading CIOs were driving new innovations. 

Now more than ever, rock-solid IT infrastructures and technological innovations that unlock value are crucial for businesses. CIOs and IT executives should focus on digital investments that deliver repeatable financial and performance results in an efficient and responsible way. According to Gartner, four out of five CEOs are increasing digital technology investments to counter current economic pressures, including inflation, scarce talent, and supply constraints. CIOs will need to govern and monitor their “business IT” in 2023, providing innovation to the end user. When control is lost, they run the risk of their infrastructure becoming “old IT” and will lose the influence once held. 

OFFERING TRANSPARENCY TO ADDRESS BOARD ROOM CHALLENGES 

Where there is a lack of transparency available to drive fact-based decisions, there is less accuracy regarding the outcomes. 

Ensuring businesses are aware of their overheads and what their customers want is key to any business but especially in times of potential financial difficulty. Cloud usage increased massively during the pandemic, thanks to the flexibility, scalability, and speed of deployment needed to pivot business operations. Cloud solutions also offer a more sustainable system to those previously in place, allowing businesses to go that little bit further when it comes to their carbon footprint. However, as there is no one business holding a monopoly on this, the number of suppliers is growing, pushing the value of the product down. So, businesses will need to work harder to justify their investments as well as facing the likely prospect of doing more, with less. 

In 2023, CIOs should take into consideration all the challenges facing their industry right now and put their cards on the table. Ensuring transparency with both sales and management staff will enable a joint focus to make important business decisions. Along with this, they should expect increasing pressure to reduce costs and possibly even put long-term plans on hold. With businesses attempting to reduce costs in 2023, they should seek to devise alternative cost management systems to ensure minimal disruption is felt within the business. 

RUN, BUT DON’T FORGET TO INNOVATE 

There is going to be the need for a lot of focus on transparency in 2023, encouraging leaders to discuss the value of IT with their peers. Embracing Technology Business Management (TBM) via the Serviceware Digital Value Model (DVM) to understand the total cost of ownership (TCO) and enable discussions between CIOs and their business peers,) to drive the fact-based decisions will be pivotal. Business leaders should be striving to create a clear understanding of their company’s Run vs. Innovate model. Based on our experience over the last year, most customers operate on the 80:20 model, aspiring to reach the 70:30 model (with the industry, the goal would be to reach the 60:40 model). 

THE IMPORTANCE OF COMPROMISE: ALIGNING CI AND BOARD ROOM FOCUS 

As we prepare for another uncertain year, it is important for CIOs to remember they need to work with, and not against the board to meet the overarching goals of the business. Although providing transparency is often easier said than done, striving for compromise in times of struggle will help to keep long-term plans on track.

An image of , Business, The role of the CIO in navigating business uncertainty in 2023 and beyond. 

Dr. Alexander Becker

Dr. Alexander Becker, COO of Serviceware.

AI alignment: teaching tech human language

Daniel Langkilde • 05th February 2024

However, Embodied AI refers to robots, virtual assistants or other intelligent systems that can interact with and learn from a physical environment. In order to do this, they’re built with sensors that can gather data from their surroundings, with this they also have AI systems that help them analyse data they collect, and ultimately learn...

CARMA announces acquisition of mmi Analytics

Jason Weekes • 01st February 2024

CARMA announces acquisition of mmi Analytics, expanding expertise in Beauty, Fashion, and Lifestyle sectors The combined organisation is set to redefine the landscape of media intelligence, providing unparalleled expertise and comprehensive insights for PR professional and marketers in the exciting world of beauty, fashion and lifestyle.

Managing Private Content Exposure Risk in 2024

Tim Freestone • 31st January 2024

Managing the privacy and compliance of sensitive content communications is getting more and more difficult for businesses. Cybercriminals continue to evolve their approaches, making it harder than ever to identify, stop, and mitigate the damages of malicious attacks. But, what are the key issues for IT admins to look out for in 2024?

Revolutionizing Ground Warfare Environment with Software-Enabled Armored Vehicles

Wind River • 31st January 2024

Armoured vehicles which are purpose-built for mission-critical operations are reliant on control systems that provide deterministic behaviour to meet hard real-time requirements, deliver extreme reliability, and meet rigorous security requirements against evolving threats. Wind River® has the partners and the expertise, a proven real-time operating system (RTOS), software lifecycle management techniques, and an extensive track...

The need to prove environmental accountability

Matt Tormollen • 31st January 2024

We are currently in the midst of one of the most consequential energy transitions since records began. The increasing availability of clean electrons has motivated businesses in the UK and beyond to think green. And for good reason. Being environmentally conscious attracts customers, appeases regulators, retains staff, and can even gain handouts from government. The...

Fuelling Innovation in Aftermarket

Jim Monaghan • 31st January 2024

One section of the motor trade is benefitting from the cost-of-living crisis: with consumers keeping their cars for longer, independent repairers are in huge demand. But they are also under pressure. Older cars need more repairs. They require more replacement parts, tyres and fluids. With car owners looking for value and a fast turn-around, independents...

The return of the five-day office week

Virgin Media • 25th January 2024

Virgin Media O2 Business has today published its inaugural Annual Movers Index, revealing four in ten companies are back to the office full time, despite widespread travel delays and disruptions With 2023 cementing the cost-of-living crisis, second hand shopping and public transport use surged as Brits sought to save money Using aggregated and anonymised UK...