CIOs and IT directors of technology companies have it tough. As essential advisors to the enterprise, they are tasked with reducing complexity and cost of systems while at the same time delivering business value. And these days all CIOs are expected to be ‘value creators’ not just managers. According to IDC, 80% of the CIO’s time will be focused on analytics, cybersecurity and creating new revenue streams through digital services by 2017.
With the barriers that IT leaders are facing today, e.g. tons of vendors, separate clouds, tedious customizations and more – when, or rather how, will they reach IDC’s prediction?
To dig in, let’s take a closer look at some of the top challenges CIOs of technology companies are facing today and how to conquer them:
1. Messy integrations
As the business grows, CIOs are asked to add more and more business applications to help manage processes for multiple departments. Oftentimes, these applications live on separate cloud platforms, hosted by different vendors and lead to tons of costly customization and integration issues – not to mention the disparity in reporting data. When the finance department has different reporting tools than the services teams, for example, it becomes increasingly difficult to plan for success and productivity is at a standstill. The last thing IT teams want to do is help stitch together data in hopes of getting a better portrait of company health.
As the technical infrastructure grows more complex, held together by disparate synchronization routines and excel spreadsheets, the speed of the business can slow down – a nightmare for the CIO.
Instead, CIOs should aim to keep the company’s business applications all on one cloud platform. When you align sales, finance, services and HR on a single cloud, you are ensuring that your data is in sync across all of the departments within the organization.
2. Breaking down sales to service barriers
In order for the business to make informed decisions, services needs visibility into the sales pipeline and vice versa. To reiterate the last point, this is impossible to do when your organization is working on top of disparate systems. That’s why it’s so important to bring sales, services and the other departments within your company together in a single system.
By leveraging the power of the Salesforce platform you bring native collaboration, global, social and mobile capabilities to your workforce with ease. You will be able to smooth out the sales to services handoff and avoid potential mismanaged projects and displaced client information. By breaking down those traditional sales to services barriers you will increase the organization’s efficiency and project success rates, ultimately leaving more time for the CIO to focus on creating new revenue streams for the company, as IDC predicted.
3. Strategically investing in technology
When deciding on where to invest technology dollars, it’s simple – start with focusing on where this spend would generate the highest ROI. CIOs need to ensure that technology investments support the most strategic parts of the business – those that drive the most growth. For many technology companies this means the services department.
The technology services industry is constantly changing. More companies are beginning to offer adoption services and value added services that are separate from the initial project. To keep up, CIOs need to help put technology in place to allow resources from across departments to serve the customer. When you focus your technology spend strategically, the positive effects will be felt company-wide. It will help break down departmental silos so that the services arm can better leverage your organization’s best resource: people.