A CIO’s plate is always full. They always look for the next upgrade or new ways to make the most out of the existing IT infrastructure in their organization. 2020 was arguably one of the toughest years for CIOs as they had to ramp up the IT infrastructure because working remotely became the new norm.
Now, as we enter a new era of computing, it is of utmost importance that CIOs stay ahead of the curve. In this article, we focus on three upcoming technologies which have the power to transform the IT sector. We discuss the technologies and how they will revolutionize the way we work and why CIOs should watch out for these.
A. Hyper-automation of processes using AI
Several processes are being automated as most organizations go for a data-driven approach rather than a knowledge-driven strategy. Automation is great if you know exactly what you want. One of the many pros of automation is that it takes care of mundane tasks and does so with clinical precision.
Not to mention the time it saves so that you can focus on tasks of higher complexities. Processes like marketing, sales, and CRM are at least partially automated, if not fully, in many organizations.
Automation of these processes is tremendously valuable to the company as a whole as more can be done by spending fewer resources. The challenge that is faced, though, is knowing what the objective is. In-depth analysis and carefully setting up a funnel, which will convert a cold prospect to a buyer and your investment into revenue, is important.
For example, email campaigns are being automated in many industries, and the only way it will work efficiently if the data fed to the system is correctly set and the conditions are set based on data analysis.
What can be done:
CIOs have to start by focusing on the information that they have and how much more data they need to collect and how to collect it so that they can automate certain processes. Artificial intelligence infused with automated pipelines needs to be set perfectly to get an advantage over competitors. Moreover, since this is a long-term process, the foundations of the automation process have to be strong and built such that they can be iterated upon.
B. Working remotely
Working from home or from remote locations has become the norm as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced individuals to stay indoors. Although it comes with many positives like improved work-life balance for employees and reduced maintenance costs for the employers, it has its own set of unprecedented challenges.
Most organizations and institutions had the infrastructure to enable remote workers but it can be said with certainty that many of them struggled too. The biggest problem that was encountered, apart from unstable internet connections, was ineffective collaboration. It is one of the primary reasons for wastage of time where, on average, 2 hours a day are lost to it.
Pre-pandemic, we were used to being able to pop into our coworker’s cabin and ask them a quick question, or point at the screen during the brainstorming sessions and give our ideas, suggestions, reviews, and feedback instantly in a way that was easily understood.
Now, it has been replaced by long email chains and endless screen-sharing meetings which are often unnecessary and unproductive. Another challenge is keeping track of bugs and issues while working in high-performing agile teams. Things definitely get lost and then the issue reappears later in a much more crucial stage and mistakes are often repeated.
What can be done:
The current IT infrastructure and all the digital tools that employees need are fit to be used on-premise, or within the office premises only. CIOs need to focus on new tools which will replace the endless email chains and constant virtual meetings by using visual feedback and bug tracking tool which will help everyone communicate and collaborate effectively and on one platform.
C. Data Security
In the age where decisions are made on the basis of the data that you have rather than your expertise in a particular field, data is what sets apart leaders from laggards. The challenge with this championship-winning formula is collecting data from your users.
Since algorithms are getting smarter and have started to have larger impacts on their users’ lives, it is normal that individuals are skeptical about their personal data.
Most of the customers(including myself) don’t mind paying more for a particular product or service as long as protecting privacy is one of their priorities. As a result, you have to make the most out of the limited information that you collect.
What can be done:
Over the last 10 years, a huge number of data breaches have resulted in the theft of over 100,000 records. CIOs have already understood this challenge and have started reducing the number of things that they collect from their potential customers as well their existing clients. The concept “less is more” is more relevant than ever.
The new hurdle that came with it is how to extract maximum actionable, data-driven insights from the limited data that they have in their secure servers. One of the other crucial things that should be an option is eliminating dependencies. Many forms on the internet collect unnecessary information but on the off chance of it being useful down the lane. Removing such fields will be a good experience for both the customer as well as the business.
In 2021, the CIOs will need to focus on setting up long-term systems and goals as compared to short-term hacks even though they may seem enticing. Setting up a robust, replicable, automated, and data-driven system while taking care of the existing IT infrastructure and removing the issues within it will be one of the toughest tasks for a CIO.
Apart from focusing on the business challenges and ways to improve the service or the product, CIOs will also be paying a lot of attention to user privacy and making sure that their data is secure. Cybersecurity has become one of the critical areas of focus as the CIOs look forward to one of the most competitive eras in business.
This is a guest blog from Tarasekhar, Marketer, ZipBoard.