Tech budgets are scaling up, but they must be optimized to fast-track business growth
Enterprises face turbulent macroeconomic and geopolitical times alongside environmental issues, but IT spending remains strong as businesses push digital transformation to fuel global growth.
Despite uncertainty, enterprises are optimistic about the future and their expansion plans. Increasing operational efficiencies and productivity are key to success. Reflecting this, 51% of CIOs we spoke to for our Enterprise Horizons 2023 report said they had secured increased technology budgets against growth and ongoing business challenges.
Digital enablers such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, automation, analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT) rank high alongside cloud and secure connectivity, which are vital to support these technologies.
What can CIOs do to be ready for today and tomorrow?
The truth is enterprises need to be ready for anything. However, outdated systems and applications leave enterprises struggling to grow. In fact, 35% of CIOs in our research agreed, saying legacy systems stifle global growth.
Infrastructure must be agile and able to scale up and down rapidly. As market conditions continue to change, CIOs must create a technology estate that is optimised for business outcomes but is future-ready enough to cope with evolving pressures dynamically.
CIOs are firmly in the driving seat when it comes to integrating technology and business. By transforming their organisations into cloud-first data-driven entities, CIOs can deliver applications and services that anticipate and quickly adapt to changes in the business environment.
The good news from our research is that CIOs have the full backing of their management boards to expand technology investment to meet business challenges head-on. However, technology leaders must build close relations with those heading up the enterprise’s profit and loss (P&L) statement to show how new investments in technology will bolster the bottom line.
More markets mean greater network complexity
Establishing, managing, and maintaining connectivity is crucial in supporting existing and new markets. Thus 42% of CIOs we spoke to say their board sees global connectivity as a business asset and critical to growth.
All CIOs agree that these networks need to be robust, flexible, and scalable – capable of meeting the dynamic demands of a hybrid workforce. However, acquiring the right connectivity can pose significant challenges.
Internet connectivity has become critical to day-to-day business. As well as legal and regulatory compliance that goes hand in hand with international expansion, companies must connect these locations and regions seamlessly with the required end-to-end performance to function successfully as a global enterprise.
Enterprises can opt to go alone. But CIOs need to remember that this is a convoluted and time-consuming process. For example, due diligence must be conducted to ensure ISPs can provide the service required to ensure it is a business asset and not a liability.
Enterprises that choose to fly solo may find they have little control over internet routing and associated performance, for example. That will lead to, at best, disappointment and, at worst, problems with downtime. It is wise to partner with an experienced network service provider that understands the complexity and understands the variable and unpredictable nature of global business connectivity.
The tech talent drought has no end in sight.
CIOs are using upskilling and reskilling in a bid to plug the talent gaps. But this only goes so far. This is why strong partners are so important in helping care for critical IT tasks.
By partnering with a network service provider, automating and outsourcing can also relieve the burden of the tech talent crisis on enterprise expansion. This frees up in-house resources to focus on tasks directly linked to business outcomes.
The skills gap makes it difficult for enterprises to maximise their technology investment. Enterprises, however, should not let the tech talent crisis slow down their global expansion plans. CIOs need to accept the fast pace of technology; it is impossible to have experts in everything. Bringing on the services of a trusted specialist partner will help CIOs quickly address business challenges and drive technical innovation, as well as provide essential everyday support.
The network holds the key to successful global growth
Over 50% of CIOs told us they are looking to expand to new markets to expand growth over the coming months. How enterprises maintain their IT infrastructures is crucial. The central nervous system is the network. How effectively it operates can make or break a company’s growth ambitions.
For CIOs to be successful in the internet-powered world in which they now operate, they must consolidate and simplify their infrastructures, ensuring they are resilient, secure, and deliver on promised performance. This means ensuring users can access the correct data for business insight wherever they are.
For more insights into what is on the mind of global CIOs, download our Enterprise Horizons report here.