With 2022 about to become a rearview memory, the time has come for IT professionals to establish the priorities for their organizations moving forward into the new year. Organizations of all types and sizes had to address the technology challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic since the end of 2019 and the start of 2020. Two years of dealing with the issues surrounding the management of a remote workforce continue to remain a priority as we head into 2023, but a new, negative issue appears to be ready to assume the top focus for the five things IT leaders should prioritize in 2023.
We are talking about the pending threat of a worldwide recession.
The growing threat of a worldwide recession has prompted organizations to concentrate on bolstering their profit margins during a turbulent economic period in which growing a customer base does not seem like a viable business strategy. CIOs have to balance two business needs in 2023: Cutting costs and spending money to support advanced technical services that help their organizations gain an edge over the competition.
Introducing new technology-based services and reducing operational costs might be diametrically different objectives. However, one of the primary priorities of 2023, which is moving more business applications to a cloud platform, can help your organization achieve its goals. Relying more on cloud technology also might open new doors that boost your company’s analytic capabilities to gain improved insights into customer preferences during what should be an area of economic uncertainty.
Let’s take a quick look at the five things IT leaders should make a priority on their to-do list as we remember the Auld Lang Syne of 2022 to welcome the promises offered by 2023.
1) Consolidate Your Technology Vision
As the practice lead for advanced analytics and AI/ML technology at the technology research firm ISG, Sush Apshankar analyzes the development of different technology visions. For 2023, Apshankar emphasizes the need for IT leaders to consolidate technology visions into a single vision that addresses the multiple operational challenges confronting organizations in the post-pandemic environment and the pre-recession economic reality.
“Establishing a single technology vision is easier said than done,” Apshankar said during a recent speech. “CIOs will have to work closely with C-level and other business leaders to define which set of technologies for cloud environments- ERP systems, business intelligence (BI) platforms, and CRM tools-will be the mainstay of the organization. Legacy and inherited technologies will be integrated into these mainstay technologies.”
Learn more in Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2023.
2) Defend Your 2023 Budget Request
With the strategic planning discussions targeting department budgets, are IT leaders resigned to the inevitability of losing financial resources to support a wide variety of initiatives? The common sense answer appears to be yes, but IT leaders should view an economic downturn as the prime opportunity to promote the importance of at least maintaining current funding for their department budgets.
The key to gaining support for at least the status quo for the IT department budget involves ensuring accounting principles provide accurate data for other C-Suite executives to review. Demonstrating the link between IT technology and attracting new customers should be the cornerstone of any presentation that requests additional financial resources for IT purposes.
3) Embrace the Future of Cloud Technology for Business Operations
The days of discussing implementing cloud-based technologies are over. The time has come to transform all the talk into real action. As Colin Dawes, who is the chief solutions architect of IT consultancy service Syntax, 2023 represents the year when cloud technology should become the foundation for building a cogent IT strategy for your organization.
“For the year 2023, CIOs will encourage increased adoption of the cloud for the core business applications of CRM, supply chain management, ERP, human resources management systems, and other line-of-business applications, which is a change from the cautious approach of years past,” Dawes stated. “The need for this type of technology has only grown more critical in the past few years through the pandemic.”
4) Protect Business Data
Cyberattacks have ramped up since the onset of the pandemic, and IT consultants predict 2023 should see an increase, rather than a reduction, in cyberattacks for both small and large businesses across all industries. Although the war in Ukraine has received the most attention concerning the increase in cybersecurity issues during 2022, other factors have contributed to the importance of your organization making significant strides to shore up proprietary data, as well as sensitive customer information.
IT leaders also have to address the rapidly growing relationship between digital intrusions and the advancement of machine learning and artificial technologies.
Learn more in 6 Cybersecurity Predictions for 2023 and Beyond.
5) Make a Hybrid Work Environment Work
Calls for returning to the office have resonated throughout the business world. Many IT professionals with a recession on their minds rightfully predict an economic downturn will force employees to return to the office. Although the prediction of the return to onsite work is correct, IT leaders must account for the several benefits attributed to the development of a hybrid work environment.
The pandemic demonstrated that working remotely allows employees to enjoy a better quality of life by having the opportunity to address issues unfolding at home while still fulfilling professional responsibilities. Although organizations can expect to save money by consolidating workplace technologies that include cybersecurity measures by returning to an in-person work model, retaining some form of a hybrid work environment should continue to deliver improved productivity numbers.