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  • Marijan Hassan - Tech Journalist

Top 5 IT Agendas That Every CIO Should Include in Their 2021 Budget

2020 was historical, don’t you agree? The UK was already grappling with the implications of Brexit when the coronavirus hit threatening to bring the world economy to a standstill. While things are still not back to normal, 2020 is finally behind us and business leaders can now start focusing on how to bring change to their organisations in the new year.

Now is the time to reflect on your business's progress over the past year and come up with resolutions to ensure success in the year ahead. This could mean coming up with new strategies or building upon existing ones.

And, if there is one thing that Covid 19 has taught us, it’s that technology is a huge part of how businesses will operate in future.

So, in this post we will be discussing 5 IT practices that you can leverage in your business in 2021 to ensure resilience in an ever-changing world.

These are not just our thoughts but lessons we have picked from hearing top CIOs in top firms talk about their resolutions for 2021.

  1. Digital transformation. There has never been a time when the need for digital transformation was more clear than during the pandemic. With government regulations requiring people to work from home, businesses have been forced to digitise their processes to facilitate remote working. This is a trend that we can expect to continue in 2021. Tanya Hannah, CIO for King County, Wash, is among the leaders prioritising digital transformation this year. She plans to shift from the legacy systems currently being used in the county to digital solutions that allow the fast provision of services to residents while leveraging cloud solutions and a combination of remote and in-house working to ensure county services are available 24/7 and in real-time.

  2. Implementation of bimodal IT - Bimodal IT as explained by Gartner is the reorganisation of your IT team so that there is a group focused on the day to day operations of the businesses while another group works on new solutions that can help the business grow. If you don’t have enough personnel to implement bimodal IT consider borrowing a leaf from Jim Cavellier who is the CIO, Cass Information Systems. He plans to hire citizen developers who will be in charge of low-level application development so that his A-rated developers can focus on complex programming tasks that inspire transformations in the organisation.

  3. Automation - According to the Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey 2020, Automation is one of the top 5 important technologies that CIOs want to invest in. The technology is seen as a way of freeing up people from doing time-consuming and repetitive tasks that could easily be done by machines so that the people can channel their energy towards other business aspects that promote growth. Other technologies that can be used to back business automation include AI, machine learning and robotics.

  4. Data and analytics - Businesses leaders have recognised that through the analysis of user data, they can make informed decisions on business operations, enhance customer experience and consequently improve business outcomes. Gartner conducted a poll of almost 2,000 CIOs for its 2021 CIO Agenda report and established that more than half of them are giving business intelligence and data analytics a bigger budget in 2021.

Securing the enterprise - As businesses continue their march towards digital transformation, there is bound to be increased cases of data breaches and other forms of cyberattacks. Some of the agendas that have previously been given priority include having a security operations centre as well as a proactive threat hunting and AI-based detection systems. However, IT leaders have also recognised the importance of educating users on cybersecurity best practices and will, therefore, be setting aside funds for awareness campaigns.





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