Early in the year, we see a flood of tech trends and outlooks for the upcoming year. While tech trends are the shiny objects that create the buzz in tech news (AI, ChatGPT, Metaverse, Green Tech, etc.), the top CIO priorities are more like old friends that make the list sometimes year after year, and sometimes in cycles every couple of years depending on the business and economic climate.

This year’s list according to cio.com includes:

  1. Building resiliency
  2. Improving business intimacy and alignment
  3. Rationalizing the technology estate
  4. Aligning on business goals
  5. Monetizing data insights
  6. Embracing digital transformation
  7. Modernizing cyber defenses
  8. Preparing to do more with less

Other than resiliency, which is a pandemic carryover, all of these themes have been part of the CIO messaging for the last 15 years. It’s full circle in that all of these themes seem old, but yet here we are in 2023 with them still top-of-mind for CIO’s. Is it that we haven’t figured out how to solve them, or is the business environment so dynamic that we have a need to revisit them year after year?

Two priorities still relevant for CIOs that I’m excited about are business alignment and digital transformation. The first speaks to what I really enjoy, building strong relationships to achieve common goals, and the second because I’m a process geek who loves leveraging technology to improve any and all aspects of business operations.

Building business intimacy and aligning on business goals are table stakes for a mature IT organization and involve building true trust and partnerships across all areas of business with active stakeholder engagement. They also reduce friction, which typically exists between functional and IT teams, and increase employee productivity across the board. It doesn’t happen overnight, but the returns are a game-changer for how IT is viewed by the rest of the organization.

Digital transformation touches all corners of a business. It’s not one process, function or business area, it’s truly looking for every opportunity to digitize how a company runs. For those of us who help organizations leverage digital capabilities, there is no loss of opportunity to add value and it’s still surprising to see how some companies have grown without truly digitizing and scaling some of their most basic business processes.

Preparing to do more with less is the one item on the list that always creates a guest appearance as the economic climate tightens. Those with careers in IT are hardened to the concept that you should always be prudent and do more with less. Even in good times you will never get the capacity and funding you need to do all the things that your business wants, so by driving efficiencies, you can ultimately add more value. With this efficiency mindset ingrained, it also helps us when budgets and spending are more highly scrutinized.

The rest of the list, which includes app rationalization, leveraging data for business return, and ramping up security have been on the list in one way or another for at least a decade and are pillars for optimizing the value of the technology portfolio.

The common denominators across all of these themes are that they are pervasive across all areas of a business, they resurface again and again as stakeholder, technology and business dynamics change, and they are built into the DNA of career IT professionals. So, no surprise they are top-of-mind for CIO’s. They are like the ‘oldie but goodie’ reel, and we’ll likely see some of them on next year’s list as well.

Source of CIO Priorities: https://www.cio.com/article/418987/8-top-priorities-for-cios-in-2023.html