Three little words CIOs need to become familiar with very quickly are: robotic process automation (RPA).
RPA, along with AI, is a simple way to speed up routine processes. It lets human employees focus on all the other aspects of the business that require, well, being a human. Being creative and fostering innovation needs biological creation. With menial tasks being taken care of by robots, employees can flourish in an appropriately balanced environment.
Something that is constantly on a CIO’s brain is how to exactly achieve that balance between strict security measures with intelligent innovation. You want your business to be inventive and grow, but there are security policies which govern the actions of the organization that can prevent a company from spreading its theoretical wings. We’re living in an era where there are breaches that affect millions of people, nearly on a day-to-day basis. Cybersecurity is on top of everyone’s list of to-dos.
In a lot of ways, the CIO is the “bad cop” of the business.
The last few years have been groundbreaking in terms of hacker activity. Because of the increase in breaches, CIOs are often left telling the business, “no” when there’s something they want to change in the name of being a leader in their industry. The CIO’s role within the organization has expanded throughout every corner of the business in an effort to maintain the control needed to keep it safe. It’s drilled into us that “keeping the lights on” is priority number 1. So how does a CIO accurately provide the necessary security features but also foster the opportunity for the business to cultivate innovation?
The simple answer is that there is no simple answer.
Sorry. However, we do have some tips to get started on this balancing act:
1. Have a conversation with the IT team and the CFO. Define a budget. The CIO needs budget info so that they can allocate the resources they need to secure the business (the IT team). There also has to be enough leftover to encourage the other departments to use the funds to innovate. We’ve spoken about bimodal IT before (and you can get a refresher of what that means here) and that can be a cost-effective way to let your IT teams manage the business-as-usual activities while freeing up other teams to disrupt the marketplace.
2. Not only do you need the budget, but you need the education. By introducing automation into a workplace where there was previously little or none, it could freak out employees. (“Is my job being taken over by a robot??”) Training is essential. Communication, compulsory.
3. Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance. Whether you go full bimodal IT or not, maintaining older systems is important. Any sudden change can be responded to intelligently and swiftly with actively managed systems.
Change for the sake of change doesn’t add value but if you don’t innovate, your competition will fly past you.