Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 53 - Page 56

CIO OPINION
Around two-thirds ( 65 %) of European CIOs , meanwhile , plan to increase spending by the highest amount on cybersecurity .
They must use the new-found interest in Digital Transformation to help the business thrive in the post-COVID age . They must work with the rest of the C-suite to identify business opportunities and challenges and then find ways to use digital technologies to create innovative solutions .
In order to do that , they must continue to score notable successes . In many ways , the Digital Transformation that CIOs pursued through 2020 relied on tried and tested technologies , such as the cloud and collaboration services . To push digital innovation to the centre of business strategies , CIOs must take a much more radical approach to the adoption of new technologies .
That ’ s where things get trickier . Yes , the business wants more digitisation – but not at excessive cost . Digital innovation can be expensive , especially if it doesn ’ t produce desired returns . Gartner reports that two-thirds of digital initiatives not only fail to deliver on their promises but also reveal ‘ enterprise weaknesses ’, causing organisations to see a gap between expectations and results .
CIOs must work to fill this chasm this year and beyond . They must overcome the challenges and prove the benefits of a fresh investment in digital innovation . To do this successfully , CIOs should focus on four areas : business alignment ; technological capability ; agile capacity ; and engaged leadership .
In the case of alignment , Gartner says CIOs should ensure their IT initiatives align with digital business acceleration . They should draft business cases around digital channels . If money is tight , CIOs should consider putting back-office projects for finance , marketing or human resources on the back burner in favour of allocating more cash to digital innovation .
When it comes to technological capability , CIOs should make sure investment in innovation is focused on the right areas . More than 40 % of organisations say Artificial Intelligence and distributed cloud are priority spending areas , says Gartner . Around two-thirds ( 65 %) of European CIOs , meanwhile , plan to increase spending by the highest amount on cybersecurity .
As business and customer demands continue to change quickly , CIOs must ensure they have the agile talent across their internal teams and partners . Analyst Forrester says IT and business teams must be ready for continuous change , be adaptive , creative and resilient , and able to adjust quickly with just-in-time planning and execution .
Finally , CIOs must lead from the front . Creating new products and services is now a top-three board priority , according to recruitment specialist , Harvey Nash . Half of organisations have major plans for transformation in the next two to three years . CIOs have a wonderful opportunity to build on this enthusiasm for change . They must engage with their peers to deliver innovation that works . p
56 INTELLIGENTCIO EUROPE www . intelligentcio . com