The SIM (Society for Information Management) conducts a survey to find out the top concerns for CIO’s, unfortunately, it is the same concerns every year.
The 5 things that keep IT leaders up at night –
- IT talent/skill shortage
- Alignment of IT with the business
- Credibility of IT/perception of IT leadership
- Business continuity
According to the SIM survey these were all predictable, especially as IT leaders and CIOs obsess about their professional survival (which the survey suggested they do).
While IT used to be an ancillary part of the business strategy, it is now taking on a central strategic role that touches every facet of the business, including HR, marketing, and customer relations. Add in data breaches making daily news headlines and the near-constant pressure to remain vigilant of the latest best practices. IT is now and forever shall be a integral part of the business strategy and it has evolved well beyond a typical 9–5 job as businesses are expected to make themselves available to customers 24/7.
There are many things that contribute to these concerns:
Thank God companies are spending less on hardware and software and more on cloud services. The SIM survey indicates that more companies have increased their technology spending which is especially evident across distinct industries. While I applaud increased spending, I am stunned by the rate of growth in technology spending. Why so low? Slight increases indicate that investments in digital transformation are lagging.
More People But Less Security!
Given the acquisition, deployment and support options we have today – think cloud – why is the number of employees rising? Even with the increased use of cloud applications, the increase in IT employees is going up.
Great news about the cloud, however. Increased cloud delivery is skyrocketing – though legacy applications continue to terrorize too many companies. (But I just have to ask: who are the 14% of respondents who refuse enter the cloud? Will you identify yourselves?) And why are so many companies opposed to charge-back accounting for technology services when cloud delivery enables metering? Cloud delivery is the path to pay-by-the-drink pricing models which federate cost controls to the line of business.
IT Talent needs Continuous Review
The SIM survey results are disturbing on many levels. They describe the 20th century almost perfectly. “IT” needs to radically change its focus and structure. Legacy applications must disappear into packaged applications in the cloud. Digital security is the new, permanent high priority investment target: CISOs everywhere, all the time. Companies should double-down on cloud delivery. Talent should be continuously assessed. Companies should resist new software development and reduce the size of their enterprise teams, which should distribute into the businesses as transformation probiotics. Federated governance should accelerate.
What we really need from SIM and the organizations that survey IT, are deep dives into what we can do to face these challenges head on and more about the strategies that the CIO’s are employing.