A priority is created when external factors hold strong synergy with internal goals.
Info-Tech Research Group, one of the top information technology and research advisory firms globally, has published its annual CIO Priorities for the coming year. The CIO Priorities 2022 report combines insights from the recently released 2022 Tech Trends Report to help CIOs better compete in the digital economy and support their organisations through change.
Info-Tech’s annual CIO priorities come from proprietary, primary data and consultation with internal experts with CIO experience, as well as Info-Tech members, including those in Australia and New Zealand. The priorities for 2022 are also informed by insights collected from related industry reports that Info-Tech releases throughout the year.
‘In the CIO Priorities 2022 report, we’re looking at how to set priorities to compete in the digital economy and support the organisation through a dynamic period of change,’ explains Brian Jackson, Research Director, and lead analyst for the report. ‘This report will help CIOs understand how to balance everything that’s on their plate and become inspired with case studies that show once you make the commitment, successful outcomes are possible.’
A priority is created when external factors hold strong synergy with internal goals, and an organisation responds by committing resources to either avert risk or seize the opportunity.
‘CIOs bear a greater burden than ever after the pandemic,’ adds Jackson. ‘They’ve facilitated new remote work scenarios and now must adapt to a hybrid operating model. Talent is at an all-time premium, so staff retention is crucial, and there’s more pressure to automate more tasks. At the same time, CIOs face a severe cybersecurity threat in ransomware and new compliance pressures from investors and governments.’
Five Priorities from Info-Tech’s 2022 CIO Priorities Report
‘The 2022 CIO priorities certainly resonated with what our members were telling us locally,’ says Mike Schembri, Info-Tech’s Senior Executive Advisor for Australia, and New Zealand (ANZ) region.
The following top five priorities should be top of mind for CIOs and tech leaders in Australia and New Zealand:
- Reduce Friction in the Hybrid Operating Model. Lockdowns and the societal move to working from home as the ‘new normal’ changed people’s work expectations. What was initially a business continuity (BCP) response to a global crisis is now seen as best practice for employers and service providers alike. For example, according to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the proportion of GP’s medical appointments via Tele-Health peaked at 36 per cent (from a base of zero) in May 2020 and remains a significant proportion of all appointments. In 2022 and beyond, CIOs will need to work through new pain points related to the friction of collaboration.
- Improve Your Ransomware Readiness. Like the rest of the world, ransomware has been front of mind for ANZ IT leaders and business leaders alike. Globalisation in cyber threats continues with several high-profile attacks against local institutions, such as the May 2021 ransomware attack on the Waikato District Health Board that brought down all IT Systems and phone lines. In addition, the attacks against core service providers like Kaseya impacted many local ANZ customers. There is also an ever-increasing interest from boards requesting information and assurance from IT executives as to their organisations’ security posture and readiness. Going forward, organisations should look beyond multilayer prevention strategies and lean toward quick detection and response, spending evenly across prevention, detection, and response solutions.
- Support an Employee-Centric Retention Strategy. As net importers of skilled labour, the ANZ region was disproportionately impacted by what came to be known colloquially as The Great Resignation. The IT sectors in both countries had been significant users of skilled migration visas to fulfill resourcing needs. With borders closed, this avenue for resource augmentation closed. The NZ Government sector was further impacted by the Government’s policy decision to freeze employees’ pay above $100K until 2024. IT leaders will need to find ways to create enough capacity to allow workers time to spend on development.
- Design an Automation Platform. Build it or buy it, platform integration can yield great benefits. Digital transformation accelerated during the pandemic, and most organisations became more digitalized as formerly manual processes became automated through software. But how they pursue it will depend on their IT maturity.
- Prepare to Report on New Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Metrics. CIOs need to become experts in ESG disclosure requirements and recommend to the business the steps needed to meet or exceed competitors’ efforts. As of this writing, the Australian Federal Government has not yet called the election, but Australia will have to go to the polls federally by the 21st of May 2022. The expectation is that governments will need to deliver more rigorous ESG policy frameworks in response to the will of the public and shareholder activism. CIOs should become experts in ESG disclosure requirements and recommend the steps needed to meet or exceed competitors’ efforts. It’s unclear what policies will be proposed by major parties, but public sentiment may now be outrunning the party policy frameworks. Local industry initiatives and shareholder activism are often outrunning government regulation. Several local examples include:
- Mike Cannon Brookes (Atlassian co-founder) and venture capital’s attempted takeover of Australian Gas Light Co (AGL), a major Australian energy producer, with the intent to ‘decarbonize’ the organisation by 2025. Other providers have also announced their plans to close coal-fired power stations without government incentives.
- Rio Tinto’s chairman’s resignation over the destruction of an aboriginal sacred site at Juukan Gorge resulted from shareholder backlash rather than government penalties.
In addition to the outlining of priorities for CIOs, Info-Tech’s CIO Priorities 2022 report also includes insights in the form of exclusive podcast audio, quotes, and case studies from experts at Harvard Business School, Cross Country Mortgage, Allianz Technology, and CVS Health, to name a few, to help technology leaders understand how they too can navigate the shifting trends and requirements within the industry.
For each of the five priorities for the coming months, the report examines how CIOs are responding by referencing survey data and panel interviews.