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Three of the Top Technology Challenges Facing CIOs Over the Next Five to Ten Years

The Role of the CIO is Changing, and So Are the Challenges

Emily Zasada's avatar

By: Emily Zasada

June 20, 2013 | Mobile

Forrester analyst Marc Cecere, speaking at the Forrester’s Forum for CIOs in London, said CIOs are in a “…unique and potentially powerful position for business transformation.” Cecere, quoted in ComputerWorldUK, pointed to a survey that showed that 29% of respondents (a group of 101 individuals in both Europe and North America involved in a business transformation project in the past three years) believe that the CIO is the biggest driver of business change in an organization.

Cecere also related an incident where a CIO was not involved in a critical technology-related decision and how that led to some major problems.

New Technologies Present New Business Challenges

With all of this power and responsibility, CIOs need to be aware of current and future trends that will likely influence the types of technology they back to solve business challenges. Three of the issues that will likely have the greatest impact on technology in the enterprise include:

  • BYOD: In both government and business, it’s clear there’s a trend toward allowing employees to choose the devices that work best for them to access email and corporate applications. Many employees report that mobile devices make them more productive overall. It is in this context that CIOs must decide how far company security needs to extend and how to make necessary applications accessible to the employee, while maintaining control of how much information should be remotely accessible.
  • “Disruptive Drivers” That Are Changing Business Process Management: In a recent article in TechTarget, Clay Richardson of Forrester Research states that, when it comes to customer experience, some of the current disruptors within the BPM industry are mobile and social – and that, as a result, he predicts that traditional BPM processes and methods will be adopted less often, and new “experience-first” approaches that optimize individual tasks will be adopted more often to drive business process improvement. (Our blog post expanding on this topic can be found here.)
  • Platform Independent vs. Fixed Platform: Looking at the vast changes across technology over the last several years – including 1) a decline in PC purchases, and 2) a move toward mobile (and multiple mobile platforms), there is no reason to expect that any one device and/or platform can be counted to remain in place long-term. If a technology-based organization wants customers and/or employees to engage with it long-term, planning for platform independence is not only decision about technology, but a business decision as well.

New Technologies Should Enhance Flexibility

There’s a common theme among the three trends cited above: flexibility. CIOs have the technical acumen and business experience to understand that decisions made today will impact the ability to make future business decisions such as:

  • Hire a remote workforce a few years from now,
  • Implement a software solution to seamlessly incorporate future workflow changes,
  • Allow an increasingly sophisticated user base to use an organization’s services on the device and/or platform they prefer.

When it comes to technology, CIOs are ideally positioned within the organization to make the right choices that will help drive an organization towards long-term growth. To effectively plan systems that will support organizational growth five or ten years down the road, CIOs should seek technologies that facilitate maximum independence, flexibility and interoperability.

About the Author

Emily Zasada was a member of the Marketing Team with MicroPact from  2013 - 2014.