As the new rock stars of business, CIOs are increasingly taking their well-deserved place at the center of attention, ie at the top table of the boardroom, to offer their advice and expertise to guide transformation.
But what is the secret of her fame? Transparency is playing an increasing role in enabling CIOs to rise to the top echelons, hold leadership positions, and gain support from the board of directors to drive business change. The benefit of this transparency is that CIOs are agile enough to create a clear governance model with an accurate understanding of cost, value and optimization potential that enables investment decisions that deliver ROI for the business. CIOs can become the rock stars of the business world by sharing their direction and vision through this transparency to take the company on a transformative journey. In fact, it’s an excellent lever for them to save costs or shift them to the purposes that matter most.
A comprehensive IT Financial Management (ITFM) solution can help CIOs and businesses achieve the level of transparency needed to enable accurate and growth-enhancing decision making. Now more than ever, CIOs need to articulate the value of IT and drive business transformation to keep their fans, ie executives, on board to achieve and maintain rock star status in their organization.
IT at the heart of business decisions
In recent years, technology and IT leadership have been in the foreground. Now that businesses have settled into new business models and new ways of working, IT organizations have entered a governance phase. IT leaders are actively making operational excellence a priority and working to ensure the fast-moving cycle of digital investments made throughout the pandemic translates into business outcomes for the future. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of CIOs agree the CIO role has been upgraded due to the pandemic, and 78% of their industry peers (LOB) agree.
The latest digital transformation initiatives and the demands of today’s customer expectations have completely changed the dynamics of the C-suite, meaning CIOs and CFOs must work together. As businesses evolve with digital at their core, CIOs must adapt just as rock stars rebrand to ensure they can fully meet consumer demands — and they must do so quickly. Increasing costs and higher demands with fewer resources are encouraging organizations to review their IT investments and identify opportunities to reduce and control their IT spend—without impacting the services they provide to their customers. While a rock star is under constant pressure to tour or release a new album, the same is true for CIOs, who must invest in new technologies to meet changing business needs and maintain a competitive advantage. Executives must therefore prioritize spending in ITFM so that they have accurate visibility into technology budgets and projected spend.
Gartner predicts that by 2024, 70% of CIOs will have a dedicated ITFM system or tool to clarify and analyze overall IT spend. With the right ITFM platform implemented, there is little likelihood that people will go back to manually entering data into Excel. However, due to the manual nature of spreadsheets, these pose a risk to data integrity and should be avoided. Spreadsheets not only carry the risk of human error, but they also cannot always be kept up to date.
The biggest CIO challenge: innovation versus efficiency
IT is undoubtedly a key enabler of innovation, which in turn plays an important role in growth and new business opportunities. But IT also remains a major cost factor – at a time when cost pressure is already high on the CIO agenda. For many, improving cost efficiencies can have a direct and positive impact on innovation, but how do CIOs achieve the right balance of “lights on” and innovation that every rock star needs to keep their existing fans happy while attracting a new one attract audience?
The cloud is an area of innovation that holds tremendous potential for businesses because, if used effectively, it can offer significant cost savings. While many financial institutions are already using cloud-based software for business processes like CRM, HR, and financial accounting, the possibilities for the cloud within core activities like consumer payments, credit checks, statements, and billing are endless. The number of organizations using the cloud to fuel innovation is expected to grow significantly, with global spending on public cloud services expected to approach $500 billion this year.
Unleash the power of the CIO
Now more than ever, CIOs have greater responsibility and accountability to their organizations. As businesses become increasingly digital, business leaders are beginning to realize that technology expertise is a powerful asset to their business. They no longer view IT as a maintenance and support function, but as a valuable asset that helps executives manage their business with increased accuracy and transparency across different departments and multiple projects.
Technology spend is an expense that typically accounts for a significant portion of business spend, yet most organizations have minimal visibility into how IT ties to business strategy and return on investment. ITFM solutions give CIOs and other executives the ability to determine and manage the cost, quality and value of the technology services operating within an organization. To achieve and maintain rock star status, CIOs must use their expertise and take a holistic view of the business to lead their band, ie organization, to future success.
About the author
Peter Schoepf is Vice President of Strategic Sales DACH at Serviceware. Serviceware stands for a unique range of solutions and consulting for the digitization and automation of service processes, with which companies can increase their service quality and reduce service costs. We support you with our all-round carefree package: from strategy development and the use of the right solution to managed services.
Featured Image: ©Maxim Goncharenok