CIOs Search For Ways To Help Their Companies Become More Efficient

CIOs have to decide where to spend their time
CIOs have to decide where to spend their time
Image Credit: schnaars

It seems as though there is more for CIOs to do now than there ever has been before. No matter if it is dealing with trying to decide what applications we should be moving into the cloud, trying to secure the company’s networks, or working out hybrid-work arrangements with our staff, very clearly our plates are quite full. What this means for CIOs is that we now have to become more careful about how we choose to spend our time. We need to very carefully try to prioritize what we spend our time on. Our goal should be to tend to those things that are going to have the greatest benefit for our company. Just exactly what are those things?

What Should CIOs Be Doing?

I think that we are always aware when there are threats of recession. During these times, CIOs are prioritizing technology that drives efficiency, mitigates ongoing supply-chain struggles and contributes quickly to the company’s bottom line. CIOs are monitoring a number of factors, including the financial markets, inflation and supply-chain uncertainties as they continue making their tech investments. During times of economic uncertainty, companies are looking for ways technology can drive growth and create more economic value for the company faster. When IT budgets are under significant scrutiny, companies tend to place more emphasis on finding shorter-term solutions that can drive efficiency and productivity for the company as a whole.

Those types of solutions can run the gamut from simply planning further ahead to the actual use of automation and artificial intelligence to minimize supply-chain bottlenecks that drag on profits. Across the tech sector, from startup founders to public- and private-market investors and corporate executives, a new mentality is starting to emerge in which productivity and profitability play a bigger role. Many companies have been exclusively focused on generating growth. Now there is a focus back on fundamentals like gross margins and positive contribution margins. Technology and services that make the supply chain more efficient are increasingly important.

CIOs Prepare For The Future

For some CIOs, finding ways to manage backlogs involves placing orders well ahead of time. For example, at pharmacy giant Walgreens, delivery times for items such as workstations and PIN pads for stores has in some cases doubled to 16 weeks from eight. The result of this is that it’s putting more pressure on the business to plan farther in advance. For many CIOs, driving efficiency through better management of the supply chain has become a top priority. CIOs understand that more than ever there is potential supply-chain risk, should the economy worsen. What is means is that CIOs have to help their company invest in technology that will help its supply chain cope.

One thing that CIOs are currently trying to do is to achieve better end-to-end supply-chain visibility. In order to make this happen, they are looking for ways to improve the way their company monitors exceptional situations and enhances its ability to redirect or expedite supply more proactively. To achieve this goal, CIOs will work with transportation and warehousing companies. They can also integrate supply-chain data from third-party logistics providers into their systems. Long term, CIOs can have their data-science team help build predictive models that anticipate supply-chain issues and model and evaluate mitigation options.

What All Of This Means For You

When times become tough, a company will look towards its CIO to provide it with assistance. What the company is looking for is someone who can show them how they can become more efficient. This means that a CIO is going to have to start to take a look at all of the data streams that are coming into the company. It will then be their responsibility to process that data and provide the company with guidance as to what their next steps need to be.

CIO need to prioritize technology that helps the company become more efficient. They also need to find ways to make sure that the company’s supply chain operates efficiently. The goal is to find ways to allow technology to drive growth. Productivity and profitability have become the new goals for CIOs to pursue. CIOs may have to help their company place orders earlier to ensure that they’ll have the supplies that they need when the time comes. Making the supply chain visible from end-to-end is important. CIOs may have to work with outside firms to make this happen.

The important point here is that the company is starting to understand just how critical the CIO is. We are being asked to use the tools that we have at our disposal to help the company find ways to run more efficiently and generate more profit. CIOs are becoming responsible for the success of their company.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™

Question For You: How can CIOs get a good view of how the company’s supply chain is operating?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Successful CIO Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Successful CIO Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

CIOs have to start to deal with the fact that everything has changed. None of us saw the Covid-19 pandemic crisis coming and when it did, it turned everything upside down. All of the changes that had to be implemented were required so that the business could keep operating even when nobody was allowed to come into work. However, now things have started to go back to normal. However, for CIOs things will never “go back to normal”. How are we supposed to deal with this new world?