Top Challenges Facing Today's CIOs
By Farhan Khan
Head IT-Radico Khaitan
Friday, November 30, 2012
Chief Information Officer (CIO) is a job title commonly given to the most senior executive in an enterprise responsible for the information technology and computer systems that support enterprise goals. Generally, the CIOs’ now are part of core business team. In essence, a CIO in today’s modern organization is required to possess business skills and the ability to relate to the organization as a whole, as opposed to being a technological expert with limited functional business expertise. The CIO position is as much about anticipating trends in the market place with regards to technology as it is about ensuring that the business navigates these trends through expert guidance and proper strategic IT planning (ROI) that is aligned to the corporate financial strategy of the organization.


Today’s CIOs and IT departments are at the cross-road: on the one hand, digitization and globalization make the technology more critical than ever, IT capability becomes the competitive differentiator, information/data just penetrate into every corner of their organization and our human society; on the other hand, the latest technology such as cloud/social computing unleash the potential to decentralize the enterprise, and democratize our working environment, will IT be left out or more strategic focused and mission critical?
As we know, in a down turned market the bottom line becomes even more critical for the management. A bad economy stalls or reduces necessary resources needed for new technologies to maintain competitiveness or operational efficiency. Why do we think the Cloud is the main stream today? Because long term risk and buying those new servers today just got outsourced to the Cloud.


Here is my list of the top challenges facing today’s CIOs

1.Strategic ROI:

There are two ways businesses think about investments. ROI, the first, is the percentage of return over a given period of time. Payback, the second, very closely related to ROI but very importantly different, is the length of time that it takes to recoup the investment. The reason that payback is important is because once you hit the payback point, everything else is profit

2.Customer Satisfaction:

It is seen as a key performance indicator within business and is often part of a balanced scorecard. In a competitive marketplace where businesses compete for customers, customer satisfaction is seen as key differentiators and increasingly has become a key element of business strategy.

3. Agility:

Now a days initial payback on an IT investment needs to be almost immediate because we live in a world where interest in what can be accomplished two years out is not nearly as compelling as what is happening to the business right now. So the next time you hear someone talk about IT agility, it’s not really about how fast the IT department can provision a server, but rather how fast the business can really execute for better or worse because of IT.

4. Business Process Optimization/Innovation:

A Business Process Optimization is to (re)design the Business Process for the UN-delaying, service composition to fit a given constraint. A Business Process Optimization is to adapt the Business Process to improve the process execution for a specific service composition. Business Process Optimization involves optimizing process flows of all sizes, crossing any application, company boundary and connects process design and process maintenance

5. Application Modernization:

Modernizing key IT resources is a highly fruitful approach in terms of delivering operational savings. In some of its many flavors, such as that which is process-related, the TCO reduction brought about by modernization work itself can directly deliver transformational change, as well as the more general, less direct effect of cost savings regenerating as potential funding for innovative transformation. Recognizing this allows proactive IT functions to be seen as key resources in defining potentially advantageous solutions that enable innovation.

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