It’s that time of the year when you start planning ahead and make resolutions for 2016.
You might have already decided that you want to kick smoking, take up a new hobby, travel more, read a book a week, or spend more time with your family.
But if you are an IT leader this would be a great time to introspect, plan your strategy and fix issues, both systemic and otherwise which have led to inefficiencies and depressed productivity.
But don’t restrict your resolutions to only fixing things that are broken.
You should also plan to tackle high-level issues, like fostering a culture of innovation, improving customer experience or making the organization comfortable with a “fail fast fail often” philosophy.
These are the kind of big picture projects which would have far reaching consequences on the survivability of your organization and on your career prospects in a world where traditional CIOs have an increasingly shrinking space at the high table.
Here is our list.
- Don’t leave any legacy behind
If you actually want to leave a legacy you are proud of you will cut the cord on legacy applications and accelerate application modernization.
We have talked about the problem pre-mobile and pre-cloud applications can cause if they keep on occupying space in your enterprise IT stack.
These applications are expensive to maintain, run on proprietary or obsolete technologies, use outdated architectures, and are incompatible with modern hardware.
We covered a few key points that you should keep in mind when transitioning to modern systems, like making sure that all dependencies with other existing systems are accounted for.
- Move to mobile
If you have waffled on making the enterprise IT mobile friendly in 2015 2016 is the year to press the pedal to the metal.
With the mobile penetration levels in the workplace showing no signs of abating CIOs need to figure out how to plan for a BYOD environment and get the jump on developing mobile apps for both internal and external users.
In fact, in a Twitter poll run by PwC mobile app development was cited to be the most important item on the CIO’s list of priorities.
What should be the #1 resolution on your CIO's list for 2016?
— PwC Advisory (@PwCAdvisory) December 18, 2015
Empowering users to access critical data anywhere and on any device will go a long way in making the entire enterprise more nimble and customer friendly.
Here’s a low hanging mobile fruit for you- make your website mobile friendly if you haven’t already. Mobile’s share of internet traffic is already more than that originating from desktop and a legacy website will turn off a large number of potential users and current customers.
- Be on cloud nine
Migrating to the cloud should also be on your list for 2016.
Now, you might have already tried out the cloud and found that it didn’t deliver results. Unless that experiment was within 6 months relook at the options on offer- you might find something that will meet your present and projected future needs.
To help you get started we have already done a comparison between AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Engine if you are in the market for an IaaS service.
You might also want to take a look at the success metrics for cloud migration post.
- Embrace big data, predictive analytics and self-service BI
In the SaaS world business doesn’t need IT to run apps. Business relies on IT to ease the flow of information so that decision makers can make informed decisions without wasting time.
If an enterprise has to be smarter and data-driven CIOs need to devote their energies on building an infrastructure which collates vast amounts of structured and unstructured data locked up in disparate locations inside the IT system.
This combination will open up a brave new world, and CIOs have a real chance of actually impacting the bottom line if they manage to pull off this undertaking successfully.
- Focus on cyber security
Cyber security is not a newfangled priority for CIOs, but with the proliferation of mobile devices in the enterprise and even more audacious cyber-attacks in 2015 the next year is going to be extremely hectic.
As CIOs focus on retooling the enterprise IT stack, phasing out old systems, and integrating new ones there is always the risk that malicious attackers will find their way in using a previously unnoticed gap in the fence and wreak havoc.
However, security is too important a matter to be left to the IT department and CIOs need to ensure that everyone in the business is a stakeholder.
That’s a far more laborious job than installing state of the art intrusion detection systems or using AI for threat intelligence
In the long run, though, it’s the most effective approach.
Your priorities as CIO for 2016 might not mirror this list exactly but it’s a good bet that you will at least want to concentrate on cloud, big data, and mobile.
Your ultimate goal for 2016, however, has to be about improving customer experience. And because technology is integral to how customers interact with a company you can positively influence the customer experience, and with it, revenue and profits.
Tell us your resolutions for 2016.