CTOs are at the forefront of technological innovation and strategy and are often burdened with fulfilling multiple roles. As business challenges mount, they must find ways to balance technology, teams, and processes to maximize their bottom line. However, it’s not all smooth sailing for these C-level executives. Four challenges often get in the way of CTOs looking to maximize growth and impact the business bottom line.
Emerging Challenges of the Modern CTO
- Security Threats: The world has become increasingly interconnected over the last decade. While beneficial, the onslaught of new technologies has created several diverse methods used by hackers to gain access to and threaten global organizations – and they show no sign of stopping. Cybersecurity Ventures expects global cybercrime costs to grow by 15% year over year for the next five years, tipping the scales at $10.5 trillion USD. As gaps in cyber security grow and hostile nation-state-sponsored and organized attacks ramp up, CTOs will face cyber security threats at a greater magnitude than ever before. Several countries and businesses are already preparing for heightened cyber security risks.
As security threats overwhelm the public sector, the private sector must fend for itself: and CTOs must lead the charge against prominent threats like ransomware. Threatpost, an independent news site and leading source of security information, announced that the second quarter of 2021 saw the highest volume of ransomware attacks ever, with global attack volume increasing by 151%. Even worse, the FBI stated that there are about 100 types of ransomware under current investigation: and CTOs are expected to defend against all of it while maintaining critical assets and operations on a shrinking budget.
- Balancing Innovation with Revenue Growth: Innovation is vital to ensuring the long-term success of a business, but it’s not just a line on a to-do list that CTOs can jump right into. To properly innovate, organizations need to streamline the processes that come before and balance their innovation initiatives with revenue growth and retention.
More than 54% of executives struggle with their innovation strategy. To ensure innovation gets off the ground, it’s important that CTOs set service level indicators, service level objectives, and other criteria in place that help reflect and measure the success and viability of short and long-term business goals. Without the proper criteria, it’s difficult to determine how much innovation is possible, especially when potential budgets are dragging behind. This complicated balancing act has many CTOs struggling to achieve their goals, so it should come as no surprise that more than 90% of companies are unhappy with their innovation performance.
- Skilled Workforce Scarcity: A skilled workforce is needed to keep operations going while working towards greater goals; this requires CTOs to upgrade their workforce. However, with teams under new pressures to be proficient in legacy and ground-breaking technology simultaneously, CTOs often find themselves struggling to elevate existing talent or find new talent with the skills needed to fill available roles.
In addition to general hiring and education obstacles associated with workforce management, organizations face additional hiring challenges. According to Citrix, 40% of US office workers left a job in the last year or are considering doing so. TalentLMS and Workable reported that 72% of US-based tech employees polled were thinking of quitting in the next 12 months, and 35% of tech workers cite they are leaving a job due to burnout. With global tech talent shortages and additional factors contributing to workforce scarcity, CTOs are finding talent harder to retain and replace than ever before.
- Poor Digital Adoption: Despite all the technological innovations breaking new ground, 30% of companies are considered laggards in digital adoption. Whether the lag comes from a shrinking budget, lack of desire, poor visualization, or the inability to align teams and toolsets, poor digital adoption impacts everyone within the organization – and the solution isn’t necessarily new technology.
To ensure any digital adoption goes smoothly, CTOs must first have a strategic vision. Once that vision is in place, ensuring all the pieces are there to drive that vision to fruition is key – and that doesn’t always mean having the newest technology. In many cases, poor adoption results from a lack of vision, which quickly evolves into a resistance to change.
While these emerging problems weigh heavily on the shoulders of modern CTOs, they aren’t impossible to resolve. Those who are looking to combat these challenges while growing the business should to scalable solutions like a digital operations platform.
Digital Operations Platforms: The Key to CTO Longevity and Enterprise Resilience
To protect your organization from any reliability and incident management snares, CTOs must turn towards new scalable solutions that prioritize innovation and long-term enterprise resilience. Digital operations platforms (DOPs) help CTOs resolve emerging business challenges by integrating new technology into existing legacy systems: aligning systems, software, toolsets, and teams.
With a digital operations platform, CTOs can automate workflows and ensure infrastructure and applications are always working, rapidly delivering products and services at scale, and creating seamless digital adoption at every turn. While CTOs can build pieces of a DOP and integrate built tools into their existing systems, a DOP holds much more value than its parts. Where independently built features may not scale as intended, a holistic DOP scales to empower CTOs and their organization: operating as a bespoke solution optimized for alignment, innovation, and resilience across your organization for years to come.