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Derek Heim

The first half of 2017 has come and gone, and businesses across the globe are striving to determine what’s working for them, and what isn’t. All departments — from human resources to finance — are looking at their current strategies, and assessing their strengths, weaknesses, and goals. The leaders of these teams make tireless efforts to measure the outcomes of everything they’ve done over the past months, and start planning for what’s next. Perhaps no executive needs to be looking further ahead then the Chief Information Officer (CIO). The CIO is responsible for maintaining the correct information systems, and providing strong mediums of communication between all levels of employees.

Much like a secret agent, the CIO needs to be able to observe, listen, and use the highest levels of critical thinking in order to be an effective leader in the world of corporate information systems, and technology. They must also always be two (or three, or four) steps ahead.

Companies today foster environments that achieve levels of transparency that have not been seen before. At Appirio, we pride ourselves in building connections between our employees and our managers, through the use of feedback and open communication. This open communication makes it not only simple, but also convenient, for leaders in the organization to share their expectations and goals with their workers.

Mission critical this year: control, security, and agility

As the year moves forward, CIOs everywhere are sharing priorities with their teams, so that transitions and other changes can be met in such a way that leaves no one feeling exposed or undervalued. And nearly every initiative they champion will tie back to a goal of increasing efficiency and productivity within their respective companies. Here are three of the priorities that many CIOs have indicated they’re focusing on this year:

1. Reign in Shadow IT
The CIO of an organization is responsible for overseeing the in-house IT department, and ensuring that this team provides services that the rest of the company needs. The CIO faces the struggle of deciding what is a priority within the company, and what is not. This is where Shadow IT comes in. Gartner defines Shadow IT as, “IT devices, software, and services outside the ownership or control of IT organizations.” Basically, CIOs prioritize keeping as much of a company’s IT services internal as possible.

Appirio CIO Glenn Weinstein sets a goal for the Appirio IT department to understand why Shadow IT is needed, and then work to, “expand the services it [the IT Department] offers in order to fulfill the requirement.”

2. Evaluate security controls
No company wants to be responsible for putting their customers’ or employees’ data at risk, so it’s obviously a high priority to ensure that all of a company’s internal systems are incredibly secure. Organizations need to prioritize having a two-factor authentication system when holding confidential information, or other sensitive data. With this, having secure password guidelines is also an imperative. CIOs need to be able to keep up-to-date with the NIST guidelines, and audit their companies’ current systems.

Having a secure internal network also contributes to a positive Customer Experience. In an article from CIO.com, author Jim Kent says that, “the trick to business is delivering it.” It isn’t always easy, but making sure that your systems are secure provides a level of confidence to your customer. At Appirio, we believe in working to provide positive customer experiences to anyone that works with us. The role of the CIO is crucial to making this happen.

3. Maintain adaptive and agile IT
The ability to remain agile is important in not only all businesses, but also across all departments. From the marketing department, where workers need to be on top of the current market trends, to the IT department where the employees need to be aware of new technological strategies and updates, agility is crucial to a successful Worker Experience. The CIO needs to be able to respond quickly and accurately to any changes in a company’s IT department.

At Appirio, we work continuously to provide our customers with the tools they need to have an agile workplace. This is part of our Virtuous Cycle methodology — the idea that worker and customer experiences are intrinsically linked. Download our eBook to learn more about what exactly the Virtuous Cycle is, and how it can be used to transform the experience at your company.

 

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