CIOs are accustomed to quick change. New technologies are released, old ones alter, company requirements are constantly changing, and employees come and go. All of that put together, however, pales in comparison to the turbulence CIOs are currently experiencing. On top of those regular challenges, IT directors now have to deal with ongoing pandemic-related outages, geopolitical unrest, and economic uncertainty.
Amit Kumar Shrivastava, Technical Head AI, Fujitsu Fellow & Global Fujitsu Distinguished Engineer, tells us more about the top concerns and priorities of CIOs and IT decision-makers in India & Asia. Excerpts from an interview:
DQ: How is the role of IT leaders and CIOs is changing in today’s digital age?
Amit: IT leaders and CIOs now play a strategic role in driving innovation and business growth, beyond just managing technology infrastructure, due to the widespread adoption of digital technologies in all industries. Some key illustrates the changing role of IT leaders and CIOs in the digital age.
- Collaborate with other business leaders to drive innovation and digital transformation, focusing on understanding organizational goals and effective communication with stakeholders across departments.
- Assess and leverage emerging technologies to create new business models, revenue streams, and value propositions while ensuring widespread acceptance and accessibility.
- Manage digital risk, including cybersecurity threats, data privacy, and regulatory compliance, through proactive risk identification and mitigation and keeping up to date with the regulatory landscape.
IT leaders and CIOs must be strategic, innovative, and proactive to manage digital technologies for business growth while balancing agility and speed to keep up with the digital landscape. Adapting to new challenges and staying ahead of trends is essential for success as their roles evolve.
DQ: What are the factors of business growth in the future for a Digital Infrastructure?
Amit: Digital infrastructure is crucial for business growth as it enables efficient and secure processing, storage, and data sharing, leading to cost savings, operational efficiency, improved customer service and experience, and increased sales and loyalty. Furthermore, digital infrastructure empowers innovation, and provides first-mover benefits, faster time-to-market, and a competitive edge. Critical Factors of Business Growth:
- Integration and interoperability of digital technologies streamline operations and enhance the customer experience.
- Hybrid cloud investments ensure resilience, flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and improved scalability.
- Scalability and agility enable businesses to accommodate growth, make rapid decisions, and meet changing business needs.
- Innovation through emerging technologies like AI, machine learning, and blockchain provides a competitive edge, improves operations, and explores new markets.
- Balancing cost and investment in digital infrastructure is essential to achieve sustainable growth.
In conclusion, digital infrastructure is essential to stay competitive and drive growth in the future. To succeed, businesses must integrate and interoperate their digital technologies, ensure their digital infrastructure is secure, plan for scalability, and innovate.
DQ: Can you reveal insights around cloud adoption, edge innovation, adoption of emerging technologies, etc.?
Amit: The role of IT in enabling innovation and digital transformation is becoming more critical as organizations seek to leverage technology to create new business models and revenue streams.
- Invest in advanced cybersecurity solutions and risk management programs to protect sensitive data as organizations face significant security and privacy challenges with new technology.
- Cloud adoption is increasing as organizations strive to optimize costs, improve agility, and support remote workforces. Hybrid and multi-cloud strategies are becoming more popular as they provide better scalability, flexibility, and control.
- AI, blockchain, IoT, and 5G has started transforming industries, creating new opportunities to improve efficiencies, generate revenue, and enhance customer experiences.
- Organizations are adopting edge computing to minimize latency and improve real-time processing by processing data closer to the source, requiring investments in edge devices, software, and secure networks.
- Organizations increasingly prioritize sustainability and green IT, aiming to minimize waste and optimize energy consumption to reduce their carbon footprint.
- Cloud-native and container-based architectures are increasing, enabling organizations to develop and deploy applications more efficiently.
DQ: What are the Investment priorities, key challenges, and spending imperatives of digital transformation?
Amit: Investment Priorities:
- Cloud Computing: Moving to the cloud enables greater agility, scalability, and cost savings.
- Digital Security: Investing in robust cybersecurity measures is critical to combat the growing threat of cyberattacks.
- AI and Analytics: Leveraging data for insights for a competitive advantage.
- Automation: Automating routine processes to increase efficiency and reduce errors.
- Agile development to allow for faster software development and deployment.
- Legacy Systems and Infrastructure: Outdated technology can impede digital transformation efforts.
- Multi-Cloud architecture, 5G, AI and IOT infrastructure setups to innovate.
- Data Silos: Disparate data can make gaining a comprehensive view of the business complex.
- Cybersecurity Threats: Protecting data and systems from cyberattacks is a top priority.
- Talent acquisition and retention in areas such as AI and cybersecurity.
- Create a roadmap: Developing a comprehensive digital transformation strategy is critical to success.
- Investing in digital talent with the right expertise can help accelerate digital transformation.
- A robust and scalable infrastructure can provide a strong foundation for future growth and innovation.
Organizations should prioritize investments that align with their business objectives and collaborate with partners and vendors to accelerate digital transformation efforts. CIOs can lead these initiatives by prioritizing investments, addressing key challenges, and setting spending imperatives.
DQ: What are the Strategic next steps for CIOs to leverage smarter technology for intelligent digital transformation?
Amit: To maximize the benefits of digital transformation, CIOs should consider the following steps:
- Develop a clear vision and roadmap: Create a strategy aligned with the organization’s goals to guide decision-making and ensure digital initiatives achieve specific business objectives.
- Build a strong foundation: Invest in robust infrastructure and security for a reliable and scalable digital platform.
- Leverage emerging technologies: Stay ahead of the competition by exploring cutting-edge technologies like AI, IoT, and blockchain to identify new revenue streams and enhance products and services.
- Adopt a customer-centric approach: Drive innovation and improve customer experience by putting their needs at the centre of digital transformation efforts.
- Nurture a culture of innovation and agility: Foster a culture of experimentation and continuous improvement to identify growth opportunities and stay ahead of industry trends.
- Empower employees: Enhance performance and support digital transformation efforts by providing digital tools and skills.
CIOs should identify the right partners, manage data effectively, invest in talent development, and embrace an agile approach to software development for faster delivery. They should also ensure regulatory compliance, measure success, and continuously learn and adapt.
DQ: Is there still a talent shortage crisis, and how are you coping with the problem?
Amit: The talent shortage remains a significant challenge for IT organizations, with a high demand for specialized cloud computing, AI, and cybersecurity skills. To cope with the problem, organizations are adopting several strategies, such as:
- Talent Development & Upskilling: Promote continuous learning and development by upskilling existing employees to adapt to changing technologies.
- Foster diversity and inclusivity to attract and retain top talent and improve organizational performance.
- Source talent through freelancers, contractors, external providers, and college partnerships to meet specific project needs and build a pipeline of future talent.
- Develop a strong employer brand and offer competitive compensation and benefits to attract and retain top talent.
- Revamp job roles to fill talent gaps, boost hiring flexibility, and provide flexible work arrangements to retain skilled employees while meeting work-life balance demands.
Overall, coping with the talent shortage requires a multi-faceted approach that includes investing in existing employees, accessing external talent pools, creating an inclusive workplace culture, and encouraging continuous learning and development.
In conclusion, technology is critical for businesses seeking to grow and remain competitive in today’s digital landscape. IT leaders and CIOs must embrace their changing roles and collaborate with other business leaders to drive innovation and digital transformation, assess and leverage emerging technologies, manage digital risks, and prioritize investments that align with business objectives. CIOs can take strategic steps to enable intelligent digital transformation and achieve business success by building a robust digital infrastructure, adopting emerging technologies, and adopting a customer-centric approach.
Great article! Amit’s responses in the interview were truly impressive and provide valuable insights for IT leaders and CIOs. There are so many important points to take away from this interview. Thanks for sharing!
Very relatable and, at the same time, learnt something additional. He answered each questions with balance and beautifully.