From security to skills shortage: 5 sticking points for CIOs in 2022

From security to skills shortage: 5 sticking points for CIOs in 2022


The Hackett Group lists five topics that IT decision-makers consider particularly business-critical in the new year. The analysts give CIOs three pieces of advice. […]

What urgent tasks are to be solved in 2022 and how are companies tackling them? – The analysts of the Hackett Group deal with these questions in a recent survey among CIOs and CDOs (the abbreviation stands for digitization bosses in this case). The answers are still shaped by the pandemic. The following five points are classified by the participants as particularly business-critical:

  1. Cybersecurity: Respondents are in need of new or improved solutions to defend against cyber attacks.
  2. Shortage of skilled workers: CIOs and CDOs see their companies as not well positioned enough in terms of staff qualification.
  3. Automation: The study participants want to automate technological processes as well as business processes to a greater extent.
  4. As-a-Service: A reference model based on the as-a-Service principle continues to prevail, both for data and applications as well as for platforms, infrastructure and other elements.
  5. Workplace design: The digitization of working life requires virtual collaboration tools, a desktop-as-a-service and the use of augmented reality.

Concrete measures result from these five overarching topics. First of all, the need to secure distributed work – in the office, in the home of employees or on the go – with appropriate solutions is obvious. This also includes the training of employees in dealing with potential risks.

Also at the top of the list is the appeal to find the right partners. CIOs must also drive digital transformation under the pressure of inflation and supply bottlenecks. The more you involve the different stakeholders, the better.

Ten measures are considered suitable for the challenges in 2022 (c) Hackett Group

The central goal of the CIO and head of digitization is to get the most out of the existing data. This can only be achieved if the professional skills are aligned with the business and digitization strategy. In fact, more and more iterative development is taking place in everyday corporate life, and the role of internal partnerships is growing. The workforce must therefore always be newly or further qualified. The Hackett Group generally explains that companies need to digitize their processes faster – especially in general administrative activities. And: The value of data and data management is related to the use of analytics. All decision-makers must understand that analytics know-how is in demand across companies if the quality and speed of decisions is to improve.

Last but not least, the measures that are due in 2022 are also about money. Given the tense situation, CIOs will be able to score points with any means that increases efficiency. The following applies here: technology-driven initiatives should have a positive impact as soon as possible. IT managers can design development processes in such a way that the “time-to-value” is shortened.

Two other measures relate to end customers and employees. On the one hand, companies have to be prepared for the fact that consumers will not or not completely resume their previous consumption habits – before the pandemic. Their behaviour will change permanently; this is what companies have to serve. On the other hand, the “internal customers”, i.e. the IT users, will not want to completely give up their new freedom of distributed working again. The Hackett Group regards this as a sign of maturity in a digitizing world. This means that digital workplace concepts no longer have to be implemented as an emergency solution, but as a regular operation.

The analysts derive three pieces of advice from these findings:

1. Establish an overarching, standardized approach to data and analytics: The introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) into certain core applications is changing the way we look at data and data analysis as a whole, according to the Hackett Group. Future-oriented companies build analytics capacities that are consistent (“end-to-end”), repeatable, scalable and integrable.

Typically, such companies initially set up a center of excellence. Comparatively new functions such as Chief Data or Chief Digital Officer take on the task of freeing data from silos and checking it for governance requirements. The goal is to form a horizontal layer of high-quality data that everyone in the company can access. In addition, these pioneers are investing in the development or recruitment of data scientists. Specifically, they plan to increase the use of tools for data visualization, advanced analytics and master data management.

2. Set up the operating model Agile Development from: In the current study, according to the Hackett Group, for the first time a majority of participants (54 percent) indicate that they use rapid development methods. They are opposed by 37 percent who adhere to the classic waterfall method. The remaining nine percent work with No code or low code, thus qualifying non-computer scientists as so-called citizen developers.

With regard to corporate IT, the Hackett Group explains: “The days of in-house computing are over.“ Core applications are increasingly hosted in the cloud and sourced according to the as-a-service model. For the second time in a row, the share of cloud use is higher than that of on-premise operation. The new paradigm is “Everything-as-a-Service”.

3. Realize a universal accessibility: Digitization is based on the premise of being able to consume, work and interact from anywhere and at any time. Companies must create the conditions for this, both in relation to their customers and to their employees. The pandemic has already forced decision-makers to upgrade accordingly. Now the tools and technologies have to be optimized and prioritized.

The analysts also see a cloud-based infrastructure as a “chief enabler” – to add that the required repositioning will not be achieved by technology alone. However, CIOs can use the necessary cultural change to make the importance of IT clear by providing tools and methods.

*Christiane Pütter is a journalist from Munich. She writes about IT, business and science. In addition to CIO and Computerwoche, her clients include several corporate publishing magazines, especially in the field of banking/insurance.

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