Info-Tech Research Group, a leading IT research and advisory firm, has released its 2021 CIO Priorities Report. This annual report combines insights from Info-Tech’s 2021 Tech Trends report and gives IT leaders a pragmatic framework to develop resilience by building up capacity and capabilities to effectively respond to emergent and unforeseen needs.
The 2021 CIO Priorities Report focuses on 5 key areas, with step-by-step research methodologies designed to help build a proactive plan, preempting unforeseen issues. Each priority is backed by a “call to action” that will help CIOs immediately implement the right drivers of resilience for their organizations.
To help review the following priorities, Info-Tech is hosting a 2021 CIO Priorities webinar on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, 1:00 PM ET / 10 AM PT (click here to register).
Here are the 5 CIO Priorities emerging from Info-Tech’s report:
1. Create an appropriate budget reserve to better respond to unforeseen threats. All statistics point toward a continued and potentially worsening economic recession that will impact IT budgets. Identifying and planning sources of financial contingency will help ensure CIOs can meet unforeseen and emergent operational and business needs throughout the year. To help achieve this, prioritization of goals, programs, and projects will be key, as well as more agile approaches to budgeting and starting projects.
2. Refocus IT risk planning to mitigate emerging threats. While the threat landscape for 2021 is limitless, there are two key areas of risks coming out of 2020 that may potentially jeopardise the continuity of IT services: cybersecurity risks and supply chain disruption. For the resilient CIO, this is a good time to make sure technology investments are protected, and that risk management and business continuity planning become the priorities they should have been at the start of 2020.
3. Strengthen organizational change management (OCM) to help maximize technology investments. Statistics show that the pandemic has taken a toll on the mental abilities and wellbeing of workers, and OCM could help mitigate further disruption on technology implementations. Resilience is about having the capacity to deal with unexpected change. OCM can help build up this capacity at the organizational level by helping strategically plot the known changes while leaving some capacity to absorb the unknowns as they appear.
4. Establish capacity awareness to improve resource utilization. Resilience is best understood as an effort to build up the capacity and resources to respond to unforeseen changes and demands as they arise. Capacity awareness facilitates resilience by providing capital in the form of resource data. With this data, CIOs can make better decisions on what can be approved and when it can be scheduled for. This will not only help ensure that organizations are approving the right things at the right time, but also help improve staff morale by freeing team members from the burdens of overallocation.
5. Keep emerging technologies in view to capitalize on innovation. In many ways, 2020 was a banner year for emerging technologies as businesses were forced to accelerate their digital transformation plans. IT will continue to be in the spotlight in 2021 as the critical function in supporting the business once again and will need to focus on accelerating speed to value and thinking outside the box to confront what’s coming.
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About Info-Tech Research Group
Info-Tech Research Group is a leading, full-service IT research, advisory, and analyst firms in North America, serving 40,000+ business leaders and professionals. With offices in Canada, U.S. and Australia, Info-Tech Research Group offers pragmatic analyst insights and actionable tools to IT departments from world-class organizations such as NASA, New Balance, Spotify and the United Nations. Info-Tech Research Group’s divisions include McLean & Company, SoftwareReviews, and my Policies.