One Essential Step CIOs Can’t Afford to Miss in 2013

Life as a CIO is tough. In a recent Gartner report, CIOs listed their top 10 priorities for both technology and business. That’s 20 priorities in total!

How are they to prioritize these priorities? Taking a glance at the list, it’s hard to find something easy to ignore: Cloud, mobility, analytics from big data, increasing enterprise growth, reducing enterprise costs … and the list goes on.

While all of these priorities are important, research into the cognitive costs of multi-tasking proves that trying to focus on too many things at once reduces productivity by 40 percent and can cause mental blocks that slow down progress. While CIOs are smart people, they are still human. With so many responsibilities, how are CIOs to make sense of all these priorities while trying to avoid the “shiny penny syndrome,” getting constantly distracted by the latest buzz terms in the industry?   

Is there one thing CIOs should ensure they do before trying to work through this compilation of priorities like some kind of CIO “bucket list”? 

Priority #1: Go digital

Yes, there is one essential step CIOs can’t afford to miss. In the aforementioned Gartner article, this critical step is summed up in the title: “Survey of More Than 2,000 CIOs Shows Digital Technologies Are Top Priorities in 2013.”

It’s all there in one word: Digital.

If you are a CIO and can’t proclaim that the information you are in charge of is digital and well-organized, then moving to a digital workplace is surely the first step. Trying to achieve the benefits of mobility, business insights from analytics and cloud will be folly if your business still:

  • Runs on paper-based processes
  • Relies on tribal-knowledge to make decisions
  • Has critical information hoarded in personal spreadsheets and email inboxes

It would be a bit like building a beautiful extension onto a home, perhaps a third floor when the foundation is crumbling. Digitizing your information is something that you will have to do and the longer you ignore it, the more difficult and expensive it will be.

This is where enterprise content management (ECM) comes in. ECM is a technology discipline that is foundational to the success of your information strategy because it’s built on the very concept of working digitally.

A strong foundation

ECM centralizes your important business content in one secure location, drives this content through your processes at the speed of light, works in conjunction with your other applications and then delivers the relevant information to you when you need it, wherever you are. Once your information is under control, your legal retention requirements are implemented automatically, giving you total visibility into the status of your processes, documents and information.

Here’s the best part, by implementing this as a foundational information strategy, you have already started working through the list of business priorities. The benefits of ECM are well documented and correspond directly to the top 10 business priorities:  Drive operational results, reduce enterprise costs, improve efficiency, improve business processes and increase enterprise growth – to name a few.

The fact that ECM can also be deployed in the cloud, extend information to mobile devices, and provide big results from your data throughout your enterprise, means that you’ve also started work on the top ten technology priorities, too.

By using ECM as a foundational strategy to transform your organization into a digital workplace, you’ve just multi-tasked without even realizing it. Maybe being a CIO isn’t that tough after all.


Glenn Gibson

Glenn Gibson

Glenn Gibson is the Manager of Product Marketing at Hyland, creator of OnBase. With 13 years working in the IT industry, he’s collected several certifications over the years as a VMware Certified Professional, Citrix Certified Administrator and Microsoft Certified Professional. As a self-proclaimed “presentation junkie”, he is very passionate about everything that goes along with public speaking, and has picked up a few awards along the way too. A native of Scotland, his passions outside of work include all things Scottish; kilts, bagpipes, whisky, (real) football and is often heard beating a drum or two in his spare time.

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