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In this unprecedented period, CIOs have played a key role in companies’ digitisation efforts. IT managers are, in fact, in the spotlight for proving their worth through business continuity in response to the pandemic. Let’s take a look at the new priorities of the CIOs and how their role is set to evolve in the coming years.

What’s on the horizon for CIOs?

Today, in the new economic and social scenario, the role of the CIO is evolving towards a real strategic business driver.

A leading role in business strategy, increasingly an Innovation Manager is called to lead the digital transformation and understand the evolution of the business and the outside world.

It is no longer a question of deciding which technology the company needs, but of fully understanding the business strategy and then translating it into the technology roadmap and anticipating new market trends to increase the competitiveness of the business.

In the coming years, CIOs will increasingly need to complement technical and leadership skills with communication and relationship skills. They will have to adopt a human-centric approach, focusing more on the employee experience, ensuring the ability to work better and anywhere using technology that is flexible, user-friendly and collaborative.

Companies need CIOs who are agile, visionary, interactive and enablers of new business opportunities.

CIOs are considering new investments that deliver the efficiency, speed and productivity needed to operate in a hybrid workplace and ensure long-term business success.


Priorities and emerging technologies 

Through emerging technologies, CIO priorities will include the strengthening of business resilience and enabling a better customer experience.  These are some of the emerging technologies CIOs need to be aware of in order to remain agile and adaptive to ever changing external business influences.

Cloud technology

Cloud-based systems allow businesses to centralise information securely and access your business from anywhere. It will be imperative for CIOs to provide cloud-based tools to enable employees to collaborate and always be efficient, even remotely.

Cloud technology will allow businesses to work smarter, rather than harder, to achieve desired outcomes. CIOs will be able to work alongside managers to invest in technology to help improve efficiency and productivity. They will then work together to continue to optimise spending.

AI and Chatbot

According to Business Insider, the chatbot market will grow to $ 9.4 billion by 2024.

Thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI) it is possible to automate the customer service, ensure real-time feedback to user and customer requests. As AI improves chatbots, customers grow to accept and will even grow to prefer the efficiency and effectiveness of automated chatbot support.

To guarantee a more efficient service to customers and increase customer satisfaction, investments in automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will grow at a dizzying pace. IDC predicts that global spending on artificial intelligence systems will rise from $ 85.3 billion in 2021 to over $ 204 billion in 2025. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the period 2021-2025 will increase by 24. 5%*.

RPA (Robotic Process Automation)

Robotic Process Automation is the automation of repetitive tasks to free employees from routine and time consuming tasks. Thanks to automation, employees can speed up repetitive tasks and focus on value-added activities, avoiding routine tasks and time consuming. This will leave employees free to spend time doing the role they were hired to do, rather than focusing on the admin around the work. This will improve data, productivity and efficiency.

With Oracle JD Edwards RPA, companies can optimise the performance of back office activities such as the creation of sales orders, address book records and employee master records. The tool will help to reduce the error rate and significantly speed up operations. RPA offers the power and flexibility to seamlessly integrate multiple systems and processes.

According to the 2021 State of the CIO survey of 812 IT leaders, the other IT spending priorities will be data and business analytics (39%), security and risk management (37%)**.


People First, Employees and Customer Satisfaction

The imperative for CIOs is to provide cloud-based tools to enable employees to collaborate and always be efficient, even remotely. CIOs will have to interact with employees to ensure they are onboard with new processes. At the same time, CIOs need to work collaboratively with other business leaders to create integrated ecosystems that allow companies to improve collaborations, positively impacting customers.

However, IT managers must balance the needs of employees with those of customers who require real-time feedback and access to services anywhere, anytime. It will be increasingly important to offer customers a consistent experience, regardless of the channel of interaction.

As we have seen, many CIOs have helped save their companies during the pandemic and now have the unique opportunity to enable long-term growth of the company with technology and become the best business partners.


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*Worldwide Artificial Intelligence Spending Guide – IDC Forecast 2021
** CIOs Take the Reins in the Year of the Pandemic – State of the CIO 2021


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