CIOs: This should be your strategy for modernizing your business

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for businesses today to keep up and stay modern in the face of an ever-changing digital landscape. Technology is driving business modernization, but it’s about truly understanding business goals before finding solutions begins.

For CIOs, this often requires a fundamental rethink. Once tasked with evaluating and recommending the next emerging technology to meet business needs, CIOs must now become true partners with CEOs, CFOs, and decision makers. Organizations that get this right implement well-rounded strategies unique to their journeys while considering their desired business outcomes and how they work with their customers, employees and ever-changing markets.

To be successful, CIOs should drive technology investments through business goals, eliminate customer and employee bias to improve the overall experience, focus on data management capabilities, and put security first in every aspect of the business.

Enterprise modernization strategies are driven by desired business outcomes, not technology implementation

Businesses fall into the trap of being too short-sighted and seeing technological updates as strategy instead of what they really are: useful tools that can enable greater vision. You cannot “pick up and move” your business modernization strategy. Every company has different customer needs and business goals, which requires a strategy tailored to that company. Digital transformation efforts are most effective when an organization focuses on business needs as the primary driver of technology investments—rather than the other way around.

For example, an organization can implement a strategy that responds quickly to changing customer, employee, and market needs. While cloud migration is not the strategy, it is the technology that enables it. Once the CIO understands business goals and changing customer and employee needs, the organization can develop a true business modernization strategy.

Business modernization strategies consider the omnichannel experience for customers and employees

Focusing on customers and employees can differentiate companies from their competitors by opening new opportunities for innovation. Customers and employees expect personalized experiences with every interaction. We know that for customers, these experiences will become a brand differentiator that keeps the business going. Better employee experiences not only keep them motivated, but also improve business operations by helping them focus on priority tasks and offload low-level tasks to automated systems.

Think about what your customers and employees actually want. Legacy technology does not support true personalization. Consider removing legacy technology and systems that prevent organizations from delivering digital experiences.

Strategies begin with a focus on culture. Be bold and challenge your assumptions about what your stakeholders need. Continuously evaluate the digital experience and use your technology to empower and motivate your customers and employees. Listen to your stakeholders – their feedback is a gift. Use it to break down prejudices about what you think customers and employees need versus what they actually need.

Enterprise modernization strategies are building best-in-class data monetization capabilities for an AI future

Businesses need to focus on monetizing real-time data access at the lowest cost. With the increasing availability of AI and machine learning technologies, the value of data and using it to make progress is becoming increasingly important. Incorporating good fundamental data management practices into your business modernization strategy will really pay off as companies build advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities to respond to market challenges and changing customer demands. If data is the new oil, then trustworthy, clean data is the new jet fuel.

Security is embedded throughout the digital landscape via enterprise modernization strategies

Without security there is no trustworthy and clean data. The threat surface facing organizations continues to expand, and security must encompass the entire experience.

Every organization’s strategy should embed security into everything from the application lifestyle to data storage and management. All employees in the organization should treat safety as a top priority and act accordingly.

The modernization of the company requires a holistic view of the organization

Each of these elements requires the CIO to take a holistic view of the business and work closely with decision makers to select the right mix of technologies, from cloud migration and DevOps to applications and devices in people’s hands. The focus is on data and their free flow. Data should surely provide stakeholders with the right information at the right time. Leading the way with a strategy that focuses on business outcomes, builds on customer and employee experience, drives data management, and prioritizes security can propel your business and enable you to leverage innovation at every point in your modernization journey.

About the author: Brandon Caroll, Executive Director, Transformation, DevOps and Cloud Services Global services from TEKsystems

Brandon is a results-oriented management professional with more than 20 years of experience in executive-level business development and operational leadership of start-up companies and mature, rapidly expanding global operations. He has a recognized ability to integrate innovative management techniques, processes and procedures to improve business practices, increase productivity and increase sales. He has a talent for building strong relationships with key decision makers, executives, channel partners and employees.

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