As the new rockstars of the business, CIOs are increasingly taking their well-earned place on center stage, i.e. at the board room top table, to offer their advice and expertise to steer transformation.
But what’s the secret to their stardom? Transparency plays an increasing role in enabling CIOs to rise to the upper echelons, to engage leadership and generate buy-in from the board when it comes to driving business change. The virtue of this transparency is that CIOs are then agile enough to establish a clear steering model with an accurate understanding of cost, value and optimisation potential, allowing for investment decisions that deliver returns for the business. CIOs can become the rockstars of the business world through sharing their direction and vision via this transparency to take the business on a transformative journey. Indeed, it is excellent leverage for them to be able to save or shift costs around for the purposes that matter the most.
A comprehensive IT Financial Management (ITFM) solution can assist CIOs and businesses with achieving the necessary level of transparency to enable accurate and growth-promoting decision-making. Now more than ever, CIOs need to articulate the value of IT and power business transformation in order keep their fans, i.e. leadership on board to achieve and maintain rockstar status within their organization.
IT at the heart of business decision-making
Over the past couple of years, technology and IT leadership have stood front and center. Now, with companies settled into new business models and new ways of working, IT organizations have moved into a governance phase. IT leaders are actively making operational excellence a priority and working to ensure the fast-paced cycle of digital investments made over the course of the pandemic is delivering on business outcomes for the future. Almost, three quarters (74%) of CIOs agree that the CIO role was elevated due to the pandemic and 78% of their line of business (LOB) counterparts agree.
The latest digital transformation initiatives and demands of today’s customer expectations have completely changed c-suite dynamics, which means CIOs and CFOs need to work collaboratively. As businesses evolve with digital at their core, CIOs will need to adapt just as rockstars rebrand to ensure they can deliver fully to meet consumer demands – and they need to do so quickly. Rising costs and greater demands with fewer resources are encouraging businesses to review their IT investments and identify opportunities to lower and control their IT spending – without impacting services delivered to their customers. Whilst there is continual pressure on a rockstar to go on tour or release a new album, the same applies to CIOs, who must invest in new technologies to meet changing business needs and maintain a competitive advantage, business leaders need to prioritize spend in ITFM so that they can gain accurate insight into technology budgets and forecasted expenses.
Gartner predicts thar by 2024, 70% of CIOs will have a dedicated ITFM system or tool to help clarify and analyze total IT spend. With the right ITFM platform implemented, there is a low probability of people reverting back to manually inputting data into Excel. However, due to the manual nature of spreadsheets these pose a risk to data integrity and therefore should be avoided. Spreadsheets not only carry the risk of human mistakes, but they are also impossible to keep up to date at all times.
The biggest CIO challenge: Innovation versus efficiency
IT is undoubtedly a crucial enabler of innovation, which in turn plays an important role in growth and emerging business opportunities. But IT also remains a major cost – at a time where cost pressure is already high on the CIO agenda. For many, improving cost efficiencies can have a direct and positive impact on innovation but how do CIOs achieve the right balance between keeping the ‘lights on’ and innovation just as any rockstar needs to keep their existing fans happy whilst also enticing new audiences?
Cloud is one area of innovation that holds huge potential for businesses as it can offer significant cost savings if used effectively. Whilst many financial institutions already use cloud-based software for business processes such as CRM, HR and financial accounting, the opportunity for cloud within core activities such as consumer payments, credit scoring, statements and billing is endless. There is expected to be a significant increase in the number of organizations adopting cloud to promote innovation with global spending on public cloud services expected to come close to $500 billion this year.
Unleashing the power of the CIO
Now more than ever, CIOs have greater responsibility and accountability to their organizations. As businesses increasingly become digital, corporate leaders are beginning to realize that technology expertise is a powerful asset to their business. They no longer view IT as a maintenance and support function, but as a valuable asset helping business leaders to manage their enterprise with increased accuracy and visibility across various departments and multiple projects.
Technology spending is an expense that typically represents a significant portion of company expenditure, yet most organizations have minimal visibility into how IT is linked to the business strategy and return on investment. ITFM solutions give CIOs and other executives a way to identify and manage the cost, quality and value of the technology services operating across an organization. In order to achieve and maintain the rockstar status, CIOs need to utilize their expertise and embrace a holistic view of the business to lead their band, i.e. the organisation, to future success.
About the Author
Peter Schoepf is Vice President of Strategic Sales DACH at Serviceware. Serviceware stands for a unique solution and consulting offering for the digitization and automation of service processes, which companies can use to increase their service quality and lower service costs. We support you with our all-in-one package: from strategy development to deployment of the right solution all the way to managed services.
Featured image: ©Maksim Goncharenok