While global economic uncertainty continues through 2023, Gartner expects worldwide IT spending to remain resilient, growing by 2.4% in 2023. Given the events of the last few years and the changes in the way employees work, investing in the digital workplace will be vital.
As costs continue to rise, however, budgets will continue to erode, and CIOs will come under greater pressure to track and report the value gained by investments. Consequently, they should collaborate with CEOs and business leaders to better align spending priorities with business goals, with a focus on several key areas.
Supporting the digital workplace
Forrester’s workforce data reveals that 68% of workers hope to work from home more often, while 34% of organizations want to return to the pre-pandemic office model and even the hybrid model being adopted by 51% of companies needs to be more flexible. Forrester says this calls for innovative leaders to move away from the outdated physical office model and make every node on the network (which could be anywhere) an equal participant in ‘office life’.
This will require continued cloud investments as well as the delivery of technologies and tools that enable users to collaborate and work productively in the way they want to from anywhere over any device, taking into consideration usage patterns as well as business and user requirements.
As the workforce continues to contract, talent retention will remain a priority. With digital technology playing a big role in aiding or frustrating users’ ability to perform their job, more are turning to IT to assist these efforts. Forrester revealed that 60% of technology and business leaders indicated that improving the employee experience (EX) is a top priority over the next 12 months.
IT should shift to delivering a proactive digital user experience (DEX) by:
- Moving away from service level agreement (SLA) measurement to experience level agreements (XLAs) to better understand the impact technology has on users, leveraging digital experience monitoring tools (DEX) and analytics.
- Personalizing the digital experience so employees receive only the technologies and communications that are pertinent to them.
- Anticipating business needs by more closely aligning with the business to better manage technology delivery to meet end user needs and achieve business goals.
In October it was reported that organizations around the world spent approximately US$150 billion on cybersecurity in 2021. This shows a 12.4% annual increase over the previous year. Financial services and healthcare are just two industries that have seen increased activity, leading to disruption and at times, fines and loss to reputation. As digitalization continues cyberattacks are expected to become more prevalent.
Through 2023, CIOs should take a multi-pronged approach to tackling cybersecurity. Forrester recommends increasing investment in API security, cloud workload security, multifactor authentication, security analytics, zero trust network access and crisis simulation exercises.
Gartner too suggests the need for CIOs to implement digital immune systems which bring together multiple modern practices such as observability, automation, operations and analytics to make applications and services more resilient and recover more quickly from failures.
Cloud Cost Optimization
While cloud migration programs allow IT to take advantage of scalability, provide support for the distributed workforce, and enable cost and operational efficiencies, such as paying for what you consume, IT need to keep a close check on cloud costs to ensure they don’t spiral.
With many options available for keeping cloud costs in check, CIOs should grow cloud cost awareness within their teams, ensuring there is a continued focus on maintenance and optimization, and that resources are best placed to achieve cost and operational efficiencies.
As countries and businesses move ever closer to net zero target dates, CIOs will be pushed harder to show how technology is being used to achieve company sustainability goals. Gartner suggests the focus should expand beyond internal IT operations, to how IT enables a host of sustainable outcomes using technology for enterprise and customer operations too, suggesting performance metrics will be tied to these goals. Investment in technologies such as cloud resources, AI, analytics, and automation will assist IT in delivering more sustainable asset utilization, as well as optimizing costs and energy use.
A growing number of countries are making environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting mandatory. Last year the SEC revealed proposals that if adopted, could make reporting a legal requirement for some companies. With practices such as ethical sourcing and supply chain transparency also growing in importance for customers, CIOs should identify ways to get ahead of the ESG reporting curve.
Leverage Intelligent Automation
There’s a wealth of data held within the IT estate and around the business that can be used to define how IT approaches, manages, measures, and reports on the value of its investments in digital workplace transformation during 2023. To leverage the greatest value from these investments, teams need to investigate the adoption of intelligent automation to collect and augment the data they deliver with information already held across the IT estate.
For example, when using digital experience monitoring tools, you must be able to access a profile of the user, including where they are located (e.g., remote or office-based), the device and applications they are using to make appropriate decisions and automate workflows to act on what the data is telling you. A proactive digital experience requires this data to be aggregated from multiple tools across your estate and analyzed in real time. The same is true of any IT transformation program. CIOs should investigate flexible ways to manage and structure this data for enhanced IT decision-making.
Investigate Technology That Can Deliver IT Agility
Investing in new capabilities to enable the digital workplace is just the beginning. To truly deliver on its promise, IT needs to adopt a more agile approach. It isn’t feasible to achieve digital workplace goals – e.g., proactive DEX – without an orchestration layer on top of point solutions and ITSM systems.
Results from a recently revealed Gartner survey shows Infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders are using automation within deployment domains such as application and end user device deployment, but few have expanded usage to operational domains for programs such as patching and vulnerability renumeration.
Gartner sees automation ‘essential to scale for the rising demands of digital business’, and as 70% of organizations intend to implement structured automation for flexibility and efficiency by 2025, it suggests leaders invest in automation that ‘prioritize reusable initiatives and support innovation and emerging business priorities’.
Deliver On 2023 CIO Priorities Using A Digital Platform Conductor
Consider adopting a digital platform conductor tool (DPC), recognized by Gartner in 4 hype cycles. A DPC allows you to connect to your disparate IT management tools as well as data stores around the business to access, aggregate and analyze the information they hold in real time and orchestrate tools for end-to-end program automation. Use a DPC to help deliver on 2023 priorities. A DPC provides:
- A structured, accurate, comprehensive view of IT data to understand the needs of the digital workplace and make better-informed technology investments to support it.
- A clearly defined view of the changes that need to be made based on pre-set conditions and triggers end-to-end workflows to make those changes.
- Clear records supporting ESG reporting and goal attainment.
Book a demo with ReadyWorks to understand how a digital platform conductor will afford you greater agility to achieve business goals while realizing greater value from all your future IT investments.