Focus on 5 Strategic Issues in 2017By Samuel Greengard
There's no question that the pace of technological change is accelerating and the level of digital disruption is growing. CIOs and other business and IT leaders should focus on five critical factors in 2017.
Talent matters. It's no secret that organizations and IT departments report a shortage of talent in key areas. The problem is only going to grow worse as digital technology marches forward and fields as diverse as artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, robotics, the internet of things and other tech areas become more complex.
Organization must find new and better ways to attract and retain talent. One thing that matters, particularly for Millennials, is working at a tech-savvy company that gives employees the latest and greatest tech tools.
AI isn't the future. It's now. The fields of AI, machine learning and deep learning are advancing rapidly. Speech tools such as Alexa, Cortana, Google Now and Siri are revolutionizing interactions with machines and devices, while visual processing, more advanced analytics and even next-gen cyber-security are moving into the mainstream.
Given that, CIOs should be exploring opportunities, testing systems and eyeing future capabilities that can lead to a smarter enterprise.
Agile is everything. One of the sobering realities of the digital age is that digital moves fast—really fast. And organizations that don't keep up risk everything.
But agile is about more that faster reporting and DevOps. It's about building systems—often through the cloud, mobility, IoT and other technologies—that allow the enterprise to adapt on a dynamic level to ongoing and often unpredictable changes. Yet, it's also about unleashing a more entrepreneurial—or intrapreneurial—style of thinking.
All roads must lead to value. Often overlooked in the zeal to cut costs, build faster and better infrastructure, and devise a more responsive business framework is that the end goal is to create greater value for employees, partners and customers. Every initiative should focus on systems, workflows, apps and interactions that reduce friction and increase efficiency. That's how you build a sustainable enterprise and a brand that matters.
Security is more than protection. It's impossible to escape the daily drumbeat of breaches, break-ins and cyber-security breakdowns. Perimeter-based cyber-security is dead, and other traditional approaches are increasingly ineffective.
CIOs must work with counterparts—including CSOs, CISOs and other executives—to deliver more advanced and integrated protections, including the use of AI, deep learning and analytics tools to spot anomalies before they devolve into full-scale problems.
At the end of the day, an enterprise must understand risk factors and apply solutions and strategies where they matter the most.