CIO In The Know – Solving big problems

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Wow! It’s amazing how fast the year is starting off as we are almost out of January. Many companies are holding their SKOs this month and trying to plan the best they can for an uncertain 2023.

A lot has happened in the past two weeks. Between the almost-daily layoff notices of thousands of tech workers to global issues, tech leaders and workers are getting pulled in multiple directions. Even so, not all news is negative.

CIO water cooler talk

The layoffs are giving CIOs both concern and hope. On one hand, it shows a refactoring of sorts among enterprise tech companies. On the other hand, it provides a cooling for the red-hot IT staffing. IT staffing is still hot and will benefit from a slight cooling to relieve some of the pressure that was building.

In the last newsletter, I mentioned three topics that are regularly coming up: Cybersecurity, GPT-3 and remote/ hybrid work. Those are still top conversations among CIOs and a few more are starting to come up:

Hybrid to In-Office. More companies including Disney and Starbucks are requiring employees to come into the office more frequently. Disney is now requiring staff to be in the office four days a week with Starbucks requiring employees to be in the office 3 days a week. The shift, while not surprising, also represents a growing belief that working remotely is not as productive as first thought. Of course, there are different schools of thought to this conversation. For CIOs, this means rethinking staffing, leadership and tools.

Generative AI and Data. There is growing concern that while generative AI can be hugely valuable, it is becoming clear that guardrails are needed as some of the negative side-effects of generative AI are bubbling up. Raising the visibility of trust in data is a great way to open discussions and determine solutions. CIOs are starting to work through what some of those solutions may look like.

Data quality. In the theme of data, data quality is still a big concern for enterprise CIOs. Trust in data and data quality are two of the most important aspects being discussed. While data quality is not necessarily a new aspect, there is growing concern around trust in data. Generative AI and misinformation are creating challenges to maintaining trust in data. Guardrails could be the solution for some aspects, but more work is needed.

Tech debt. Not surprisingly, technical debt is finally getting the attention and discussion it deserves. While not a clear-cut discussion to have, it is now a core discussion point considering the recent outages at Southwest Airlines, the FAA and NAV Canada. Technical debt has been a lurking risk for enterprises for a long time. Now, CIOs and executive teams are starting to look at options to appropriately address tech debt. To be clear, tech debt is not just about antiquated technology. Nor is all technical debt bad.

Latest from the blog

Last week, the World Economic Forum (WEF) held their annual conference in Davos, Switzerland. On the agenda were discussions about global issues including energy, innovation, social inequities, geopolitical risk, cybersecurity, data and fragmentation.

New on the blog is a post with the CIO perspective and takeaways from WEF 2023.

In addition, if you missed the post on the CIO playbook for 2023, you should check it out. The playbook has sparked a number of conversations on how companies address each of these areas.

In the news

One of the more interesting points of recent news came from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) where they proposed a new rule to ban non-competes for workers. Some states had taken action years ago to invalidate non-competes. However, creating a ban at a federal level creates opportunity for workers looking to make a move. This has always been a challenge in IT orgs as it can hinder natural and necessary movement of staff.

What’s your take?

CIOs are digging into some of these meaty issues which is only a good thing both short and long term. Where are you focusing your time?

Now it’s your turn. What’s your take? I’d love to hear from you and your perspective.

Be sure to subscribe to the CIO In The Know newsletter and podcast to ensure you do not miss an update. Also, if there are others you think would this newsletter valuable, please forward them a copy and encourage them to subscribe.

Originally posted on LinkedIn:

#CIO #CIOitk #newsletter #cloud #techdebt #cybersecurity #hybridwork #remotework #futureofwork #gpt #ai #generativeai #wef #wef2023 #esg

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