The CTO role has been faced with new technical demands in recent years and is expected to experience significant changes in the coming time as well. To be prepared for the future, the CTO should have the following four items on his strategic to-do list.
Just a few years ago, no one would have guessed that we would enter 2023 with a completely changed way of working. With a war in Europe, a pandemic that has seriously driven the hybrid workplace, as well as increasing pressure from both threats of IT attacks and demands for increased regulation in relation to security, economics and sustainability, there is no indication that the CTO’s jobs will become less demanding in the future.
It is, however, easier said than done and there is no definitive answer as to how to proceed in order to succeed. However, after many years in the industry, I would like to share four items that a CTO should consider adding to their strategic to-do list.
Invest in an infrastructure model that is prepared for anything
The last few years have clearly shown that the ability to adapt to changes is a fundamental prerequisite for maintaining competitiveness. The robust and reliable computing power of the traditional mainframes is no longer sufficient to guarantee a stable operation.
CTOs who continue to run critical systems on mainframes should therefore consider moving to a cloud-focused strategy. The cloud provides the opportunity to act and scale quickly. It also provides the opportunity to stay one step ahead of situations that may arise. According to a Gartner study, more than 50 percent of companies expect that by 2027 they will use cloud platforms to accelerate business development.
Shut down obsolete hardware
The economic crisis will continue and reducing costs is still high on most organizations’ agendas. There are several ways to do this. You can fire suppliers and employees or refrain from investing in new technology, or close the office completely on Fridays, as there are international examples of public institutions starting to do. However, my advice is that if you have to remove or shut down something, you should start with legacy IT infrastructure and move to the cloud. It is often expensive to buy, operate and maintain your own servers, network equipment and associated software, especially if a large part of the equipment is old. By switching to flexible and scalable solutions such as cloud or on-demand services, companies can more easily predict their operating costs, while gaining access to modern and reliable infrastructure.
Increase the attractiveness with modern technology
It is also important to invest in new software technology. According to Gartner’s analysis of the global IT market, in 2023 most companies will make sharp cuts in their budgets for IT hardware, while software investments will increase by 11.3 percent. At the same time, young IT talents prefer to work with new technologies such as AI, metaverse and NFT. So no matter how mature your industry is, investing in modern apps, AI and various metaverse preparations will be a bonus for your business. Not only when it comes to the bottom line, but also to attract talent.
Focus on ESG
Sustainability is another factor that will have the highest strategic priority in the coming years. Here, the CTO has a central role to ensure that the business uses the most optimal data strategy – both in relation to registration, monitoring and documentation of the company’s green and socially responsible initiatives.
In summary, it is clear that the daily work of many CTOs today is characterized by urgent tasks that have been driven by major changes in the market and in the outside world recently. While the day-to-day work must of course be managed efficiently, it is especially important not to lose the long-term focus on creating a long-term sustainable business, not least with the help of smart digital transformation.
Of: Antonio Marsico, General Manager Unaware, Nordic