The CIO’s Brief Guide to Preparing Your Business for the Future

by | Dec 10, 2018 | Business Optimization

Chief Information Officers have a huge amount of responsibility and influence. Not only do they need to keep the lights on, optimize operations, and provide their business with the IT development and services it needs, they must also plan for the future. In a rapidly-changing world, it can be difficult to future-proof your team and your organization. That’s why we’ve come up with this bite-sized guide to ensuring your people, processes, and plans are ready.

Make Technical Fluency Part of Your Teams’ DNA

Technology is moving forward very quickly. A shift towards SaaS, cloud infrastructure, scalability, and security means everyone must keep up to date with the necessary skills, experience, and expertise. Build some time into your team members’ job roles so that they can stay up-to-speed. Speak with your senior managers and peers about new technology that’s coming down the pipe. Start making training plans now based on your business strategy for the next two to three years.

Understand the Best Way to Take Advantage of Cloud Services

Whether you’re using cloud IT infrastructure or not, it’s important to understand the potential that on-demand, scalable, competitively-priced cloud services can provide to your business. If you’ve not migrated yet, look at the potential costs and benefits of moving services to the cloud and explore a business case for doing so. If you are in the cloud, look into whether extra services could provide more capacity and scalability for your growing organization.

Move to More Proactive IT Security Management

IT and data security is becoming increasingly important for every business. Criminals are adapting, attack vectors are widening, data breaches are growing. It’s no longer enough to just react to potential issues. Instead, you need to move to a forward-thinking approach to IT security and bring in areas like vulnerability scanning and assessments, penetration testing, security monitoring and alerts, and anything else that keeps you ahead of the hackers. Make sure you complete due diligence across your on-premise and cloud services to identify and fix any potential weaknesses.

Bring in External Expertise to Supplement Team Experience

No matter how skilled your team is, they can’t keep up with everything. Conduct a skills and experience audit across all your teams and roles, and compare this to your strategic IT needs in the near- to mid-future. Decide if you want to hire for potential new roles, upskill existing employees, or bring in outside experts. In our experience, the best approach is a combination of in-house and external expertise, especially when it comes to areas like cloud migration and security. Make sure you partner with an organization that can closely collaborate with your teams to maximize benefits for your business.
Of course, this is just the start, but get these four areas right and you’ll strongly position your business for growth and success.