New Year Resolution for CIOs: Get Off the Fence

4 minute read | 29 Jan 2024

By Nigel Nisbett

As we ring in a new year, we also ring in a new era for business technology. Over the holiday period, I reflected on my conversations throughout 2023 with chief information officers (CIOs) and senior technology executives across the Asia Pacific region. A clear theme emerged: their roles have evolved almost beyond recognition, with a heightened focus not just on technology, but on steering the business itself.

The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2025, automation will reshape the global job market, with 85 million jobs lost and 97 million new ones created. In this context, the role of the CIO becomes increasingly pivotal. Geopolitical challenges are reshaping the global business landscape, compelling organizations to rethink their strategies.

More than 80% of business executives are accelerating plans to digitize work processes and deploy new technologies. For CIOs, 2024 is a year of formidable challenges but also unparalleled opportunities. As a CIO, how ready are you to lead your organization through these changes?

Business Objectives in the New Era

This new environment demands agility and adaptability from businesses. Key focus areas include:

  • Customer Experiences: Recognizing “moments that matter” is essential. Exceptional customer experiences are no longer a luxury but a necessity.
  • Connecting Work to Employee Values: Linking the work that employees do to their values and interests can significantly boost impact and productivity.
  • Extending Customer Lifecycle: Increasing customer lifetime value (CLV) and loyalty is now a strategic priority.
  • Increasing Distribution Leverage: Efficient distribution channels can significantly amplify market reach.
  • Building Stronger Partner Ecosystems: Collaborations and partnerships are vital for innovation and growth.
  • Expanding Into New Markets: Diversifying into new territories offers fresh revenue streams and opportunities.

Evolution of the CIO

The primary objective of CIOs has shifted. It’s no longer just about “keeping the lights on” — or even maintaining competitive advantage. The new CIO is a creator, innovator, and disruptor, leading initiatives that extend beyond traditional IT boundaries. Remember, in this new world, there are no IT projects, only business projects.

The Bimodal Role: Running and Changing the Business

Today’s CIOs must balance efficiently running the business with driving change and innovation. Integration and automation are pivotal in this dual role.

  • Integration goes beyond connecting systems; it’s about integrating entire business ecosystems. It facilitates seamless data flow and comprehensive insights.
  • Automation is about creating intelligent workflows that optimize resources and foster innovation.

A Decisive Leap Forward

As 2024 unfolds, CIOs face the task of navigating an evolving geopolitical and technological landscape. Are you prepared to transform today’s challenges into tomorrow’s opportunities for innovation and growth?

The main takeaway is clear: Whether your business is a dominant market player or a disruptive startup, at some point, to scale, you will need to integrate and automate. The mantra for CIOs is: “Integration plus Automation equals Transformation.”

This is not just a strategic choice but a vital resolution for the future. By championing these elements, CIOs will lead their organizations in adapting to and driving change. The call to action is unequivocal: innovate, integrate, and automate. The future is not just about responding to change – it’s about leading it.

Are you designing a digital transformation project? Download “The Foundational Steps for Digital Transformation” for a framework and guidance to help you each step of the way.