Today’s IT professionals are under pressure to help their companies compete in an ever-changing marketplace.  While revenue growth and cost reduction remain priorities, scalability, security, and the rapid adoption of new technology are also top concerns.

By gaining knowledge and planning strategically, IT execs can increase their business's competitive position while remaining flexible enough to welcome new technologies as they emerge. Check out a few areas of concern for CIOs in the new year:


Concern One: The IT Team’s Alignment with the Business

IT departments will need to understand integrated workplace culture. CIOs are urged to help the IT department understand their impact across all business units. Why? Because competitive advantage in 2017 will be driven by the efforts of the IT team to align with other business units. Already, the number of CIOs having taken the role of “digital leader” has increased, nearing the 40-percent mark

Concern Two: Workplace Privacy and Digital Security

Protecting data and systems from security vulnerabilities has been a top concern for many CIOs the past few years. In 2017, cyber crimes will be continue to increase in size and number due to many motivating factors, including financial or political gain. Being aware of recent breaches and how to mitigate these new threats will help to minimize your risk.

The Internet of Things (IoT), connecting more devices to the Internet, is an emerging threat as well. Recently, millions of CCTV cameras were hacked, bringing down a sizable portion of the Internet. IT professionals are working in cooperation with device and infrastructure security specialists to prevent device exploits. Unfortunately, these devices are proliferating rapidly and becoming more capable which also makes them more vulnerable.

Concern Three: Time-to-Market Speed

The ability to quickly deliver new products and services for end-users remains a concern in the coming year. Cloud technology will continue to provide much-needed agility to resolve some of these issues. That said, speed and cost still remain big factors. Application upgrades, tech replacement, ERP system integration and development life cycles will require attention.

Concern Four: Implementation of Business Productivity Plans

New technology can help with keeping the business competitive. However, workplaces may suffer if qualified human resources aren’t available to manage that technology. To boost optimization and productivity, CIOs must plan in advance to recruit qualified internal resources or decide to outsource the management of new technologies to a trusted partner or provider. 

Particularly, back-end transactional systems will require a special eye. Experts believe the rigorous development of governance systems will expand in 2017. These systems are expected to ensure scalability, industry resilience and—most importantly—security. Productivity plans will become highly digital, but in-house IT staff and execs will be responsible for running multiple agendas simultaneously.

Concern Five: Speed and Flexibility

CIOs will need to shape up their ideas, money, teams and time to maximize flexibility. Initiatives with data center and infrastructure technology improvements are valuable for businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve. By embracing virtualization, autonomic platforms and automated management solutions, CIOs can scale effectively. Bottom line, be ready, be aware, and prioritize efficiency
before technology.