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How CIOs can drive the Future of Work



While the importance of the CIO’s role within the business is widely acknowledged (and deservedly so), it is also, quite often, understated. Even CIOs themselves tend to overlook the importance of their role in shaping the way things work within the organization. And this goes beyond just the technology aspect.


For instance, CIOs will consider IT as having a supporting role and not being seen as a key player in laying the foundation for the future of work in the organization, content that IT will facilitate in providing the tools needed in a given department when needed. In truth, this is a shortsighted approach as it stifles IT’s game-changing potential.


As such, CIOs should be more proactive and take on a greater leadership role, especially when the future of-work initiatives can be a digital transformation force multiplier. CIOs have the opportunity to improve their organization’s competitiveness, promote innovation capabilities, and catalyze culture change by driving blue-sky thinking around how technological shifts will transform employee responsibilities and experiences.


In particular, CIOs should focus on three key aspects:


1. Transformation of knowledge management with generative AI


ChatGPT and other forms of generative AI have generated a great deal of interest among enterprises. And already, many have made use of AI-powered content generation, image creation, and video editing to scale their workflows. Even giants like Microsoft and Google have added AI-based features to their products and services, with Microsoft adding ChatGPT capabilities to its Office suite and Google adding generative AI tools in Workspace.


Analysts predict that generative AI will make a significant impact in the fields of knowledge management and enterprise search experiences. CIOs should pay close attention to these trends and determine the best ways to take advantage of these technologies. More importantly, CIOs should adapt accordingly as these technologies continue to evolve.


2. Driving self-service capabilities with no-code tech


Today, many enterprises use a mix of low-code and no-code tools to build applications. As such, more non-IT personnel are developing applications using the citizen development feature. CIOs should embrace no-code and citizen development as a work strategy. Considering the current challenges of recruiting dedicated IT personnel, the business can actually make do with getting people with sufficient technical acumen to work with no-code technologies to ensure its IT operations. This also helps drive culture transformation that will empower departments with the technologies they need to drive their agendas.


CIOs should also define a citizen development governance model and govern citizen data science so that no-code apps and dashboards do not become useless or end up as liabilities in the long term. Disciplines such as identifying requirements, versioning applications, testing functionality, establishing security access roles, documenting releases, reusing capabilities, and defining standards are all important whether an app is developed with code, low-code, or no-code.


3. Accelerated decision-making with hyper-automation and real-time analytics


Large enterprises have transitioned towards the use of real-time analytics for reporting. In addition, there has been a push to go beyond using robotic process automation (RPA) on tasks and workflows and now focus on hyper-automation, the integration of automation, low-code, and machine-learning capabilities to enable smarter decision-making and resource planning.


Hyperautomation and real-time analytics are promising technologies are they help enable smarter decision-making. This is something CIOs should take advantage of as businesses today can no longer afford to be laggards in driving intelligent automation.


CIOs play an important role in determining the future of the business and, more importantly, directing the entire organization toward that envisioned or desired future. Paying close attention to these key trends will help ensure that the future is realized to its fullest potential for the overall benefit of the business at large.

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