December 10, 2018

Five Things That Keep CIOs Up At Night

In today’s business landscape, there is more pressure than ever on C-level executives. The rapid and constant technology changes occurring across industries from automotive to medical device has put the pressure on CIOs in particular. This ever-evolving landscape presents new challenges and new expectations. Are you a CIO or other executive losing sleep over how you can keep the pace for your company? We’ve compiled a list of the most common concerns to help you know you’re not alone.

1. Digital Transformation & The Pace of Change 

Technology seems to be changing on a daily basis, so it’s no surprise that these advances could keep a C-level executive awake. The daunting task of re-training employees after implementing a new technological system is an inevitable challenge that all executives must face. In addition, it’s hard for a CIO to know whether they are making the right decision with the advances they choose, and if adoption and performance will deliver as expected. Is the system going to be useful in five years? Is this the right tool for the business? According to the Flexera 2020 Digital Transformation Planning Report, “54% of organizations indicate that digital transformation is a top priority.” With the right resources, team, and partnerships, a CIO can go into a digital transformation with their eyes open and their goals within reach.

2. Regulations

On top of everything else, things like industry and government regulations are rapidly expanding. Recent regulations such as GDPR and other data privacy laws are becoming organization-wide initiatives to address. Digital health regulations and new market guidance from the FDA is ensuring that organizations are staying up-to-speed and meeting both old and new requirements. Companies simply cannot afford to risk a non-compliance issue and since these are such varied and involved topics, it makes sense that it would cause stress to any C-level executive.

3. Budget

Managing budgets along with pressure to innovate is a formula for sleepless nights. Executives have to be able to balance what the company needs to do to stay relevant, along with what it needs to do to remain in the black. According to the CIO Tech Poll: Tech Priorities 2020 research “technology budgets continue to increase year over year with a smaller percentage expecting a budget decrease this year… 34% say that their spending with new technology companies will increase during the next year while 38% expect their spending to remain the same.” Results show that cybersecurity and cloud computing strategies are expected to see the largest increase in spending throughout 2020, with customer experience technology, mobile enterprise apps, and AI and machine learning spending increasing or remaining the same. Although the pressure will always be there to innovate, as new technological advancements become more commonplace, they also become less expensive. This provides room for CIOs to expand their horizons without over-extending themselves budget-wise. However, there is still a delicate balance in place, and it is vital that lines are not crossed in this area.

4. Security

Unfortunately, as technology gets more advanced, so do the techniques of hackers. As reported by Phoenix NAP, “a typical user has a 27.9% chance of experiencing a data breach that could affect a minimum of 10,000 records, with a total of 6,466,440 (estimated) records succumbing to data breaches worldwide daily.” As companies gather more information, it is their responsibility to keep it safe from unseen threats. However, there has to be a balance between keeping information secure and yet still accessible to those who need it. In the case of consumer accessible data, if there is a delay or barriers to providing or accessing this information, it significantly hinders user experience and therefore the functionality of the business. It is the duty of the CIO to find a balance between safety and accessibility. That alone is enough to rob an executive of a good night’s sleep.

 5. Finding the Right Talent

Building a team that is full of productive problem-solvers with an excellent work ethic is no small task. Not only is it possible for a candidate to misrepresent themselves and their qualifications, it is increasingly becoming more difficult to find someone with the exact skill set you’re looking for at any given time. In today’s day and age, it is important for every candidate to have some level of digital expertise, and those skills are in high demand.

Once a C-level executive has built the “dream team” and started making progress, keeping that team motivated can be a challenge. Businesses by nature are ever-changing, and when hard times are on the horizon, it can be difficult to keep morale high. In times like these, retaining and developing existing employees is a necessary aspect of an executive’s day-to-day responsibilities.

While these challenges are enough to keep anyone up at night, with the right support, resources, and networks, no challenge is too big to conquer. For more information on how Oxford Global Resources can support your business in an ever changing landscape, click here.

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Whether you want to advance your business or your career, Oxford is here to help. With nearly 40 years’ experience, we know that a great partnership is key to success. Start a conversation today.