With the ever-increasing volume and complexity of data coming in (thanks in large part to trends like the IoT, BYOD and, of course, Big Data), the role of the CIO has also begun to expand. These individuals are now facing pressures to update and improve infrastructure, analyze and use the data available to them for the benefit of the organization and all while keeping internal networks, systems, applications and information secure. It’s no easy feat, but with IT process automation, it is entirely achievable.
Because of the heavy volume of data being shared today, integrating automated workflows and processes has become increasingly necessary in order to analyze and derive value from that data, and in a way that is as cost-effective as possible. If IT departments are to remain relevant, drive efficiency and support a profitable operation, it is imperative that they employ the use of IT process automation, and with the CIO as the key decision maker, it’s on him or her to ensure that the right tools are in place.
Just a few short years ago the general public was becoming aware of the IoT, but today organizations of every size and industry are capturing insight and achieving real, sustainable ROI from this advanced (and ever-evolving) technology. Furthermore, IT process automation is virtually revolutionizing everything from the SOC and NOC to the service desk and data center. Intuitive technology and artificial intelligence are being utilized to proactively monitor systems and devices, gather and evaluate complex data, remediate incidents and resolve issues – in many cases before any human worker is even made aware.
As a result of all of these changes, more basic requests, like password resets and system refreshes, which used to be handled almost exclusively by L1 support professionals are now being shifted to intelligent technology. Self-service portalsare empowering the end-user like never before while simultaneously alleviating IT personnel of the heavy burden associated with these routine, repetitive (but necessary) tasks.
Of course, this hasn’t necessarily made life perfect for IT professionals. Increased consumerization of IT has resulted in the services of many IT departments being compared and contrasted against that of external service providers. Expectations of faster service and the demand to take on more while also minimizing costs as much as possible continue to rise, subsequently increasing the pressures on top IT personnel, and perhaps no one is feeling the pressure more than the CIO. Embracing IT process automation is no longer an option, but a critical requirement.
At the very same time, the IT world is witnessing a significant change in responsibilities for the CIO, shifting from the old way of the maintenance and provision of physical infrastructure and devices to more of a data management role with an emphasis on innovating and creating value. Digitalization is now the focus, with CIOs playing a lead role in developing and implementing it throughout the entire enterprise. Paradoxically, these high-level IT professionals are being forced to orient and align themselves more with value creation than efficiency.
Data analytics is now being hailed as one of the primary contributors to driving this value, particularly given the ever-increasing pool of available information. It’s important to point out, however, that CIOs and other top IT managers must take the time necessary to understand what data is available to them, what that data equates to and, most importantly, how they can best leverage that information to improve operations across all functions of the organization. Savvy CIOs will leverage this data to obtain key insights that will support current and future business goals as well as identify new insight that will give the company competitive advantage.
Finally, the new role of the CIO will involve more engagement, inspiration and education of others than ever before. To fulfill these evolving duties, it’s absolutely essential that the CIO develops into a strong visionary and consistent innovator for the organization. Through better data analysis and the more widespread use of IT process automation, the person in this important role will begin to morph into the position of strategic advisor, driving the business onward and upward toward increasing and sustainable success well into the future.