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What keeps a CIO up at night?

02/22/2018

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The role of Chief Information Officer has changed wildly over the years. In the past, CIOs were primarily focused on more technical projects…but today, CIOs are viewed as a vital component to creating organizational strategies for their organization. As a result, CIOs are faced with more than the day to day IT operations.

We sat down with LBMC Technology Solutions’ own Dave Roberts and Nick Ciero, who both hold the role of virtual CIOs for several area businesses. When asked what keeps a CIO up at night, below are a few of the top sleep-preventing issues.

Compliance

The number of regulatory requirements are constantly growing. Reporting requirements are ever changing, becoming more complex. Compliance will continue to be a top concern for CIOs, especially those that deal in commerce, research data and healthcare. For example, if your organization handles credit cards, compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) regulations is critical. Healthcare firms must contend with the privacy and security rules as established by the likes the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). A minor regulatory change can change the game and impact even the healthiest budget, so flexibility and awareness of the implications are important in planning and adhering to regulatory compliance procedures.

Security

2017 has brought a host of new security concerns, and as malware and AI are becoming more and more sophisticated. The human CIO is unfortunately challenged with keeping the same pace. Security concerns are no longer an IT issue; it is now a top priority. Recognizing that your organization has been hacked along with the time it takes to respond…before damage is done is an issue every CIO will face. CIOs are charged with developing a unified security strategy that reduces malware risks as much as possible.

Budget

Digital transformation and supporting technologies dominate the CIO agenda this year, but it is unclear if the budget is up for the challenge. Many CIOs are challenged with doing more with less, making their job part magician.

Sadly, the “do more with less” mindset can cost more in the long run. The stress to cut costs, especially in IT, can cause management to make unwise decisions that can be far costlier in not only lost dollars, but also in lost business. You can read more about the perils of Bargain IT here.

Aging Infrastructure

When it comes to aging infrastructure, CIOs often must play fortune teller. In many organizations, parts of the infrastructure are long overdue for a refresh. IT execs must decide what parts of the aging infrastructure to upgrade, and will be left untouched. This choice must be done wisely, because if money is spent on unnecessary infrastructure upgrades, there could be significant issues down the road.

Talent Management

A concern that is top of mind for CIOs often revolve around the skills of their IT employees. Because technology is evolving so rapidly, expertise in many areas of IT can be difficult to find, and the IT skills gap issue is only expected to get worse. This is especially true in the IT fields of software development, database administration and data security.

But if you are a CIO that has an amazingly talented team, watch out: organizations can lose their most talented personnel for numerous reasons, such as the employment market heating up and baby boomers retiring. Additionally, new technologies are coming on the market daily, and that requires either talent management by training or focused recruiting. Along with that effort, unexpected talent management issues may arise that distract your team from generating the value expected from the business.

Do you need a Virtual CIO?

The virtual CIO can get up to speed and understand the business quickly by integrating with other members of the C-suite. The goal is to better align technology with business goals and effectively remediate past pain points. The virtual CIO can initiate stronger planning initiatives, not just for recoverability, but for preventing outages in the first place.

LBMC Technology Solutions believes the main advantage of a virtual CIO is getting the same value as a traditional CIO at a more manageable cost; the institution can leverage knowledge and experience as needed, rather than employing a salaried executive. For a similar cost of an internal CIO’s salary and benefits, an institution can implement an entire team of virtual technology resources.

Are you a CIO that needs more sleep? Contact us today to find out how we can help.