The CIO Playbook for 2022

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Last year, I shared the CIO Playbook for 2021. The general focus was an effort to move from reactive to proactive. Much of the 2021’s effort was finding stability in the next normal. In 2022, many are still trying to find their footing in the next normal and therefore many of the 2021 playbook items still hold true. To add further complexity, the goal posts keep getting moved.

The CIO Playbook for 2022

Several of the items listed in the CIO Playbook for 2021 still require focus in 2022 including:

  • Accelerate Digital Innovation
  • Focus on Data
  • Work Environment
  • Customer Engagement
  • Technical Debt and Modernization

Each of these still hold significant importance in the CIO Playbook for 2022. And in some cases, that importance has only grown.

Organization and Leadership: CIOs need to consider several facets with regards to their organization and leadership. With the advent of remote and/or hybrid work, communication, collaboration, culture, leadership and decision making all require a different approach. While some de facto cultures may have survived pre-pandemic, during the pandemic, leaders and organizations have struggled to work effectively. Foundation and structures must change along with staffing and retention approaches.

Relationships: During the pandemic, the reliance on technology…and the CIO…have dramatically increased. The CIO and organization need to ensure strong relationships both horizontally and vertically. Collaboration with peer organizations is more critical than ever. For the CIO, building and maintaining positive relationships with the rest of the C-Suite and board is critical. Not all relationships happen simultaneously. For example, positive relationships with the CEO and CFO are gateways to exposure to the board. Of course, there is much more to it than a positive relationship which I should cover in another post.

Risk: For many, the conversation of late has been around cybersecurity. However, CIOs need to think far more broadly and shift their thinking to systemic risk. Broad risk may include financial, legal or reputational risk. Cybersecurity fits within each of these. While cybersecurity is a hot conversation topic today, enterprise risk from technology spans beyond data breaches and ransomware. Systemic failure can carry as much or more risk than cybersecurity alone. 

Artificial Intelligence: AI presents an exponentially valuable opportunity when paired with a focus on data. AI can identify insights and opportunities to both customer data as much as operational data. AI can also identify challenges before they happen through data modeling. Today’s modern enterprise executive relies on insights from AI enhanced data to make critical business decisions.

Cloud Computing: Cloud is a perennial topic due to the opportunities it presents. Cloud is not the solution for every situation or application. However, it still presents one of the largest opportunities for enterprises today…when used appropriately. At this point, most enterprises have had some experience with cloud-based solutions with varied success. Many of the challenges I’ve observed are due to missteps in how cloud-based solutions are used. But that should not deter its use.

Near term consideration

Supply Chain: Regardless of industry, companies across the globe are being impacted by supply chain challenges. Supply chain issues can impact every company either directly or indirectly. It is important for CIOs to understand the direct and indirect impact to the various value chains.

Longer term awareness

Beyond the here-and-now, there are several areas that CIOs should be aware of but not necessarily invest significant time and effort into. Yet. Those include:

  • Cryptocurrencies
  • NFT
  • Metaverse
  • Web3 or Web 3.0
  • Quantum Computing

Not surprisingly, the CIO’s plate is overflowing, and these areas just add to an already overwhelming set of requirements. The best CIOs have developed strategies to simplify their strategies in order to provide the nimble approach needed today and into the next normal. And as always, a business-oriented approach serves the company, leadership and organization well.

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