While concerns around the CIO's relevancy in today's business environment are valid, they must understand that constantly changing technological innovations, such as cloud computing, also provide a wealth of opportunity for them to capitalise on.
For example, instead of having to devote limited corporate budget and time on monthly or yearly software upgrades and server upgrades, cloud computing allows CIOs to focus their resources in developing better business solutions and practices for clients.
When beginning such a strategic and visible initiative, it is natural to look for guideposts and travel logs of those who have passed before you. With the cloud being a relatively new IT model, the road is not well travelled or described. At my organisation, we've implemented clouds around the world for several years, and we've seen the challenges, stumbling blocks, and ultimate triumphs.
I believe that leveraging on the cloud advantage is just one example of the many doors of opportunity today's rapidly changing businesses environment, spearheaded by new technology, has opened up. Hence, this new generation of CIOs need to figure out how to utilise emerging technology at hand to drive initiatives that can add value to their corporations.
Capitalising on Emerging Technologies
Another recent study by Gartner (Gartner Executive Programs January 2012) found that CIOs view analytics and business intelligence, mobile technology, and cloud computing, respectively, as their top three technology priorities for 2012. This reflects what I mentioned earlier about how much business practices has changed today and how companies must re-evaluate their priorities to reflect the change or fall behind.
I find mobile technology particularly interesting as it has given rise to the recent trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), where employees bring in their personal devices, such as smart phones and tablets, to work. However, some CIOs still remain wary about the concept of BYOD because of the numerous security threats it poses to sensitive company data.
However, remaining adamant on the old way of doing things -- allowing only company-owned computers and devices -- means losing out the potential benefits that BYOD offers.
For example, employees may be more efficient when working on their personal devices as they are more used to it. From a corporate angle, companies can also save cost on having to purchase devices for their employees, and devote the expenses to a more productive venture.
The Driving Force behind Business Success
In today's business environment, change is the only constant. The more businesses resist change, the quicker they head towards their own ruin. However, it's important to be mindful of the fact that while change is necessary, changing in the right direction is fundamental. Companies should not change for the sake of changing, but rather, they must change in ways that would drive them closer to their overall business objective, which, according to the same Gartner survey for the year 2012, is increasing enterprise growth.
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