New Year’s Resolutions for CIOs

Five key issues you should escalate to the top of your priority list in 2017

New Year’s Resolutions for CIOs

Another year: another budget spent, another infrastructure managed, another staff retained, another crisis avoided. For CIOs, some things never change. Yet technology never stops changing.

That’s why it’s important for CIOs to cover the bases while keeping a weather eye on evolving challenges and opportunities. With those imperatives in mind, here are five key areas to focus on in 2017.

Outcome-based IT

It goes without saying that IT should focus on business outcomes. But it’s easy to get distracted by the technology challenges at hand. Here are five steps to achieving outcome-based IT:

  1. Talk to the business — To understand desired outcomes, communicate with the business on a regular basis. One effective approach is to place an IT representative in agreed-on lines of business.

  2. Understand business drivers — Basic business drivers will always be relevant, but priority levels change. IT needs to understand these trends to respond accurately.

  3. Replace traditional IT mindsets — Technology solutions sometimes require a change in outlook. 

  4. Acquire the right skills — Aligning IT with business outcomes requires new skillsets. 

  5. Measure your results — Many IT departments measure only IT performance, not business results. Link IT performance with what the business wants to achieve.

Learn more about achieving outcome-based IT.

IT Cost Management

It’s all well and good to focus on business outcomes. But you still have a budget to consider. Dan Stone, CEO of CompuCom, recommends five ways to lower IT costs:

  1. Device management — Control spiraling device costs through end-user personas. By assigning every end user a persona, you can make sure all users have the best-suited, lowest-cost devices.

  2. Mobile access — If you have mobile devices, you need a corporate wireless plan. Work with an IT service provider who can buy mobile access in bulk and then repackage it in more flexible offerings.

  3. Connectivity backup — Internet connectivity in dispersed locations is often poorly managed. The solution is a bundle of hardware, connectivity and services that includes an uninterruptible power supply, 4G backup connection and around-the-clock monitoring.

  4. Walk-up IT servicesWalk-up centers are on-campus locations where end users can get face-to-face IT support. The approach saves money through faster problem resolution, greater technician efficiency and higher end-user satisfaction.

  5. Asset disposition — Idle devices can cost you in real estate, data-security risks and tied-up device value. Stone advises IT asset management that follows equipment from procurement through retirement.

Find out more about wringing costs out of IT.

Persona Rightsizing

One of the most effective ways to control IT costs is through end-user personas. Even better, personas can measurably improve the end-user experience.

A persona is a detailed definition of a specific group of end users with similar IT needs based on their roles. Once you’ve implemented personas, “rightsizing lets you pull back unused or underused assets that can be redeployed ... or recycled,” says Traci Taylor, CompuCom consulting advisor for End-User Enablement.

Taylor identifies four best practices for persona rightsizing:

  1. Validate with the business — Personas are implemented by IT, but IT can’t operate in a vacuum. Work closely with the end-user community to understand their needs.

  2. Communicate and collaborate — Many organizations find it’s helpful to work with a business liaison for each persona. The liaison makes sure IT continues to understand business needs.

  3. Manage change — If you take away some users’ mobile devices, expect pushback. Explain why you’re making the change and how persona rightsizing benefits the business.

  4. Operationalize rightsizing — Rightsizing isn’t a one-and-done proposition. Operationalize rightsizing to make sure personas continue to reduce costs and improve end-user satisfaction.

Discover more about how persona rightsizing can deliver the right IT at the right price.

SIEM as a Service

Your outcome-based focus and your IT cost control are quickly forgotten if you fall victim to a security breach. In response, many CIOs are turning to security information and event management (SIEM) as a service. What should you look for in SIEM as a service? Chad Atchley, CompuCom vice president of Cloud Technology Services, offers these guidelines:

  1. Security expertise — Your service provider should have extensive experience delivering security solutions. It should also leverage best-in-class tools.

  2. Around-the-clock service — Your provider should have a global presence, with the ability to respond to security events around the clock.

  3. Data, data, data — An effective SIEM service will leverage vast incident data for effective analytics and rapid recognition of network events consistent with a cyberattack.

  4. Reports and analysis — A good SIEM provider will deliver dashboards on the top threats in your environment, systems that may be vulnerable and potential security events detected. 

  5. Response and supporting services — An effective SIEM provider won’t just stop an attack. It will also identify vulnerabilities and help avoid events in the future.

Find out why more organizations are turning to SIEM as a service.

Advanced Intelligent Automation

IT costs and data security are table stakes. Future-focused CIOs want to actually transform IT. To that end, CompuCom created Advanced Intelligent Automation (AIA), a digital transformation strategy for elevating end-user experiences and business outcomes. AIA shifts IT from a purely manual practice toward automated tools and processes.

AIA isn’t a product, but a journey based on technologies, processes and best practices. That journey involves seven steps:

  1. Identities and personas — To automate IT support, every end user, device and “thing” needs to have an identity. You can then establish personas for devices and services, so that your automation knows which rules apply.

  2. Digital services integration — Digital services integration provides a mechanism for macro orchestration. It connects your systems through web services or application programming interfaces (APIs).

  3. Converged device automation — Converged device automation creates a link between your devices and a management engine that provides instructions to your automation.

  4. Data 101 and predictive analytics — To achieve AIA, you need to get Data 101 right. You then need to move them from relational databases to a graph database for self-assembling knowledge.

  5. Robotic process automation (RPA)RPA captures the first four steps in a console view. It delivers digital assistance to technicians to make them more efficient.

  6. Persona portal — A persona portal lets end users interact digitally with your support platform. It leverages policies and rules to deliver personalized support.

  7. Device app and agent — You now have the components to implement localized engagement through an app that sits on all devices.

Explore how AIA can elevate end-user experiences and business outcomes for your organization.

For most CIOs, 2016 combined familiar challenges with a few surprises. Resolutions around these five key issues — outcome-based IT, IT cost management, persona rightsizing, SIEM as a Service and Advanced Intelligent Automation — should make 2017 a little easier — and a lot more successful.

1, 2 “Worldwide IT Spending Forecast,” Gartner, July 2016
3 “Gartner Says Organizations Can Cut Software Costs by 30 Percent Using Three Best Practices,” Gartner, July 2016

CompuCom® is a registered trademark of CompuCom Systems, Inc.

All data cited in this article is used by permission.

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