Today’s Chief Information Officers (CIOs) face a number of daunting challenges. Frequently, there is a wide divergence between the technology their companies presently employ and the technologies of the future. CIOs must be cognizant of today’s hi-tech developments (and technological trends just over the horizon), in order to prepare for and adapt their organizations to the challenges of tomorrow. Four AV and communications solutions on every CIO’s priority list include:
Social media has already surpassed e-mail as the preferred method business people use to communicate and collaborate with their peers, customers, and clients. Unfortunately, many Information Technology (IT) departments have been resistant to integrating and adopting social media into their workplace systems. Nevertheless, social media is poised to become the primary channel through which commerce is conducted. As a result, CIOs will need to be highly familiar with and proactive about harnessing the potential that social media technology presents for their business.
Mobile devices, such as tablets and smart phones, are overtaking the PC. Smart devices offer unprecedented flexibility, adaptability, and accessibility. However, the switch from centralized systems to mobile computing presents many challenges for organizations. Security, data integration, and conformity of standards are just a few of the issues IT departments will wrestle with as the workforce shifts to de-centralized and mobile computing and communication platforms. Nevertheless, businesses that can integrate and harness the potential of mobile technology will have a distinct advantage over their competition.
Cloud computing offers many potential benefits for companies: cost savings, improved data sharing, and better communications and collaborative platforms, for instance. However, adjusting to the cloud poses many significant challenges. Today, many companies are developing in-house cloud systems, which are gradually being integrated with the Internet and other public cloud networks. Companies that can manage this transitional phase will reap the benefits that cloud computing presents.
Increasingly, companies recognize the need for unified communications platforms. Video conferencing, e-mail, instant messaging, document sharing, and collaborative platforms are a just a few of the ways businesspeople communicate with each other, their clients, and their customers. In particular, companies recognize that they must harness a wide variety channels in order to effectively communicate with their customers. As technology analyst Alan Greenberg notes, “It can be a challenge to transition from legacy systems to a model that unifies presence, telephony, video, web conferencing, IM and active directory, and all the other services out there.” This is a challenge today’s CIOs face: integrating disparate modes of communication into a seamless organization-wide system.
Today’s CIOs face a remarkable set of challenges. CIOs are confronted with unprecedented opportunities, which new technologies are opening up, but also formidable risks if their firms adopt the wrong solutions or fail to adapt altogether. CIOs must envision how emerging technologies can solve business challenges, both in the near and the long term. The CIOs that can imagine what the future will be like will be the ones that help make that future happen.