Many companies face two dilemmas with respect to technology strategy—succession planning for retiring Baby Boom-generation CIOs, and keeping up with the digital transformation of their industry. In the past, those two issues were unrelated. But now, outdated technology platforms and legacy software solutions artificially constrain companies in both respects, making it difficult to respond to technological disruption, and limiting the choice of future CIOs to those capable of managing obsolete technology.
In the few years remaining while Baby Boom generation CIOs are still on hand to provide continuity,
companies need to accomplish the following four key tasks.
- Identify how many of your technologies are reaching obsolescence.
Nearly every industry is in the midst of technology-driven disruption, and only a technology-driven transformation will suffice in response.
- Measure how much time your IT staff spends on manual modifications.
Many CIOs started their work lives in the pre-digital era, so they know all the nuts and bolts of the
business. At this same time, they also recognize how much more difficult the CIO role is becoming.
- Assess how much of your IT spending goes to functions that can be outsourced for less.
Friends don’t let friends build their own datacenters. The remarkable economic advantages of VPNs, cloud software, mobile technologies, and distributed workforces constantly change the equations you should use to make a build-or-buy calculation for any IT function. Now is the time to calculate how much of your staff’s precious time and attention your company can afford to devote to replicating commodity functions like server maintenance, OS upgrades, security software, datacenters, and other details that are so much cheaper and easier to outsource than they were a decade or two ago.
- Decide how to simplify your IT infrastructure.
A CIO.com survey shows that 23% of CIOs want to simplify their IT infrastructure. That’s not surprising, given the fact that complex IT environments, often cluttered with legacy technologies, create barriers to the kinds of digital transformation that many industries are experiencing.
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