2023 has had quite the stormy start literally and figuratively. It will likely go down representing many things, but probably none as significant as rightsizing IT.
Rightsizing is not a new IT term, nor a new function. 2023 is quickly shaping to up represent the term in many ways from staffing and organization to technology and architecture.
As companies at still facing uncertainty with revenue, staffing and technology direction, rightsizing comes into focus. While rightsizing is an ongoing normal function in highly mature IT organizations, it bubbles up more as a project in less mature organizations. Downturns are often a catalyst for rightsizing efforts within IT organizations.
FinOps, budget refactoring, organizational shifts and technology rightsizing are all well underway within enterprise organizations.
CIO water cooler talk
Generative AI continues to be a top discussion point among CIOs. At a recent executive dinner a group of CIOs were discussing the opportunities that they are seeing from generative AI. But then the conversation got very dark as it turned toward the nefarious uses of generative AI and how they could protect against them.
There was conversation about the proposed pause to giant AI experiments as well as attempts to block generative AI. The consensus was that neither will have a positive impact nor be possible. The genie is out of the bottle. Nor will malicious actors halt their efforts. If anything, it gives bad actors a head start to work ahead of others looking to prevent malicious uses.
The outcome from the conversation was that there is a lot we must learn and depending on our purpose, new innovations can be used to advance or decimate you.
Large Language Models (LLMs) and generative AI present some interesting use cases. I was chatting with Moveworks’ co-founder and CEO Bhavin Shah recently about some of the examples entering the enterprise arena. I met Bhavin several years ago when he was just starting to launch what would become Moveworks. From our conversation, the technology in the market today only represents a small percentage of the potential value that LLMs will bring.
In addition to generative AI and LLMs, cybersecurity is coming up again in conversations among CIOs. The good part is that the conversation is ever-so-slightly shifting to move away from cybersecurity (specifically) and move toward talking about the broader risk implications.
Risk is more than just cybersecurity and includes people, process, technology, cybersecurity, ransomware, and technical debt. I wrote about how Cybersecurity is just one aspect to enterprise technology risk.
Another aspect is that CIOs are shifting their thinking to not just focus on prevention, but also preparation for recovery. This is a marked shift and one in the right direction.
In the news
The news cycle presents a mixed bag of news on labor and staffing in the tech space. Have we hit bottom? Based on public and private conversations I’ve had, I suspect if we haven’t hit bottom, we are close.
The tech space went on a hiring spree over the past few years. Now, we are normalizing supply to meet demand. That doesn’t mean that tech is going into decline. Just that we are cooling the formerly red-hot staffing challenges.
A couple of recent news pieces:
- Tech hiring rebounds as employers added more positions in March
- As Tech Jobs Disappear, Silicon Valley Veterans Reset Their Careers
On the CIO reading list
Two books came up in recent conversations:
- Fostering Innovation: How to Build an Amazing IT Team. Andy Laudato, COO of The Vitamin Shoppe and author shares some interesting nuggets and tools in the book. Examples include how to be a diode, asking more questions than statements and to stop starting and start finishing.
- Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women. Mentoring is so important, but uneven in terms of men versus women. The book addresses the challenges and how to overcome them.
What’s your take?
On the surface, the discussions can be overwhelming and confusing. Only when you look under the surface do you see the nuances that are driving change.
Now it’s your turn. What’s your take? I’d love to hear from you and your perspective.
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Originally posted on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cio-know-stormy-clouds-ahead-year-rightsizing-tim-crawford
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