3 strategies for CIOs to navigate economic uncertainty

Businesses ended last year and entered into 2023 facing economic uncertainty, including inflationary pressure and a looming global recession. To navigate these turbulent times, according to Gartner, CIOs should use IT for sustainable growth by focusing on three strategies: revolutionary work (delivering business results by creating a tech-enabled brand), responsible investment (implementing cost-effective solutions that will give a ‘two for one’ return on financial and environmental sustainability) and resilient cybersecurity (protecting the intellectual property and data owned by the business).

While many would imagine that the downturn would force organizations to scale back on digital investments in 2023, on the contrary, according to Gartner, four out of five CEOs are increasing digital technology investments to counter current economic pressures, including inflation, scarce talent and supply constraints. It’s clear that now more than ever, rock-solid IT infrastructures and technological innovations that unlock real value are crucial for businesses. And, while CIOs and boards of directors have different motivators to consider in 2023, it’s down to the CIO to ensure that their objectives and strategies fit with the broader boardroom agenda.

We witnessed just how resilient and adaptable to disruption businesses can be during the pandemic. Organizations with agile structures and the ability to innovate quickly were able to survive, or even thrive, in the face of adversity. Indeed, the pandemic divided businesses into those who were prepared for digital and remote working and those who weren't.

But it’s no longer enough to simply introduce technology to solve or meet an immediate need, instead, CIOs must focus on strategic IT investment that can be scaled to meet the wider business needs in ever changing circumstances. Even in turbulent times, CIOs are expected to shape and drive innovation, as well as manage costs. And we’ve seen increasing value placed on transparency to drive fact-based decision-making and improve the accuracy of predicted outcomes. Ensuring businesses are aware of their overheads and understand what their customers want is essential but especially in times of financial strain.

Embracing Technology Business Management (TBM) via the Serviceware Digital Value Model (DVM) to understand the total cost of ownership (TCO) and enable honest discussions between CIOs and their peers will be pivotal this year. Business leaders should strive to create a clear understanding of their company’s Run vs. Innovate model. Most customers operate on the 80:20 model, aspiring to reach the 70:30 model, while best in class operate on a 60:40 model.

As businesses face another uncertain year, it is important for CIOs to remember they need to work with and not against the board to meet the overarching goals of the business - striving for compromise in times of struggle will help to keep long-term plans on track.


Written by Serviceware

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