CIOs still rank cost control and efficiency high on the agenda, but cybersecurity is the top priority in terms of IT investments today. That's according to an IDG survey of CIOs' biggest challenges and expectations.
The role of the CIO is evolving
During the corona pandemic, the visibility of the IT department received a huge boost. Many organizations accelerated investment in technology for remote and hybrid work. Still, most CIOs feel their time is mostly consumed by functional and operational tasks. At the same time, they see their role increasingly evolving into that of a strategic business partner. Cooperation between IT and business is becoming even more of an interacting relationship.
By outsourcing operational IT tasks to an external Managed Service Provider (MSP), the CIO can have a greater impact on the business, giving IT a stronger added value at the business level. In doing so, the MSP also provides reporting, insights and roadmapping on the IT services provided.
Top priorities of CIOs for IT
- Strengthen collaboration between IT and business
- Upgrade IT and data security to reduce business risks
- Improve customer experience
Ready for AI
Forward-thinking companies are already preparing for the next wave of automation, with investments in new technologies such as artificial intelligence. In the process, IT is being assigned more responsibilities than ever.
Cost control remains important, in part due to economic and political uncertainty. Yet 91% of CIOs surveyed by IDG expect their IT budgets to remain the same or even increase. So "doing more with fewer resources" is not the goal. Rather than savings, cost control should come from increased efficiency and streamlining processes.
An MSP, thanks to its benefits of scale, can provide IT-as-a-service much more cost-effectively at a high-quality level than if an organization would provide everything itself. Moreover, it does so at a transparent and predictable cost according to effective usage. Thus, the company does not have to invest capital in IT facilities as it grows.
Moreover, through an MSP, it is much easier to make business processes more efficient and streamlined. After all, MSPs operate in a standardized manner according to industrialized processes and best practices such as ISO standards. That also makes those processes easier to scale.
Additional investments in security
So where does that extra IT budget go? Mainly to cybersecurity, according to IDG's research. Cybersecurity gets top priority in IT investments, more than data analytics and privacy, streamlining applications and legacy systems, artificial intelligence and technologies designed to improve the customer experience.
In any case, organizations already face enormous challenges: relentless cyber threats and an unpredictable marketplace, combined with the need for agility to keep up. The new NIS2 directive also requires the necessary adjustments. IT is increasingly becoming the driver to make all this possible.
War for talent
But who has to do all this? The "war for talent" is still raging fiercely, making it difficult for most organizations to recruit and retain the right IT roles. Consequently, the vast majority of companies do not intend to do this, also because it does not fit the budget.
Through an MSP, companies can still bring in the right IT expertise when they need it. After all, an external partner specializing in IT services can more easily attract IT specialists and keep them on board by presenting them with exciting and varied projects. This also gives them the opportunity to constantly evolve and expand their knowledge through varied work experiences and targeted training. Companies that enlist the services of an MSP can thus collaborate with experts in an affordable and highly flexible manner.
Outsource security strategically to a MSP
A Managed Service Provider can provide a reliable solution that still allows company and CIO to achieve their ambitions. The internal IT team can manage the environment together with an external partner, or certain components can even be completely outsourced at a fixed cost per month. Security is certainly one of the aspects that can be perfectly managed by a Managed Service Provider. Thanks to the benefits of scale, the MSP makes professional security against cybercrime accessible and affordable, even for medium-sized companies
Technology drivers for IT investments:
- . Security/risk management
- Data/business analytics
- Modernization of Applications and /legacy systems.
- Machine learning/Artificial Intelligence
- Customer experience technologies
Maximum guarantees through SLAs
A specialized IT partner has all the people, resources and processes needed for a well-oiled and proactive 24/7 service. The assurance is even greater than when a company tries to monitor everything internally. After all, the MSP's "core business" is IT-as-a-service, ensuring that the necessary cloud, workplace and business applications are always up-to-date and optimally secured, completely redundant and maximally available. Thanks to clear SLAs, the service is also maximally guaranteed as is the availability of expertise, because the MSP guarantees continuity.
It is clear that organizations need to take decisions in order not to remain stuck in a status quo. Innovation is needed to stay ahead of the competition. By outsourcing IT whenever possible, the CIO can focus on projects that really move the business forward.