05-15-20 | Blog Post

Where are CIOs allocating budgets before, during and after a pandemic?

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In recent years leading up to the early 2020 pandemic, some of the top CIO budget priorities were implementation of analytics, application modernization and various forms of cloud computing. These priorities took their place and share of budget alongside legacy system and platform support. Ascending to the top of the technology priority list for CIOs are Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data analytics (DA), listed by Gartner as “game changer technologies” and identified as such by 38 percent of enterprise business CIOs. Reinforcing the benefits of AI and DA, there are many published use cases demonstrating their maturity as business tools as well as implementation studies revealing their revenue enhancing and cost optimizing potential. AI and DA should continue trending upward as technology priorities for CIOs as business enters the pandemic recovery phase.

Pandemic Shifts CIO Budgets

Budget papersStarting mid-first quarter 2020, a vast number of companies shifted attention, budget and resources to deploying emergency remote workforce capabilities. Significant diversion of IT capital and operational budgets was required to equip and support a remote workforce deployment of this magnitude. It is expected that full year IT budgets will be significantly impacted. This includes consideration for the costs of at least a partial reintegration of decentralized personnel and assets during 2020.

Another area that requires additional attention and budgeting for many businesses is mitigating any impact on its supply chain. For the supply chain, IT can be required to implement contingency plans which support their products and services as well as suppliers and customers. Digital transformation may also receive a share of attention as businesses begin or continue the journey to digitally extend their products from physical goods to on-line, remote-accessible software, goods and services.

Back to the Future

In 2019, Deloitte reported an increased focus on IT as a catalyst to Enterprise Risk Management. Two of the top three respondent categories involved adopting specific risk management solutions including financial viability, cyber threats and sustainability. How many businesses today wish that they had implemented those systems and/or automation to improve all aspects of business continuity? When businesses move fully into recovery mode, AI and DA, so interesting to CIOs pre-pandemic, will have a significant role to play in improving profitability, reducing costs and enhancing business continuity. In addition to the new technologies, adopting a fully integrated cloud strategy can significantly improve business survivability. Public, Private, and Hybrid Cloud, whether self or fully managed, is recognized for an ability to support dynamic, secure, and compliant business continuity plans.

Focusing on the benefits of just one emerging technology, AI can play a significant role in helping to solve last year’s CIO challenges and connect those solutions to immediate improvements in business continuity. Today AI is implemented to collect volumes of data from access to application, providing predictive analysis that delivers dramatic reductions in downtime and time to repair. Other proven AI benefits include improvements in quality control, data-driven contributions to design, facilitating a safer workplace, forecasting/supply chain management, and improved analysis of customer churn and sales forecasts. All of this data, collected, analyzed and shared via an intuitive dashboard, can provide information critical to the business continuity planning phase, or enable process automation when implementing business continuity during a time of crisis. As new benefits are realized for AI, it is important to remember that AI usage will have compliance regulations pertinent to data collection and storage for many applications. Partnering with a certified compliant cloud provider for storage, backup and disaster recovery options will complete the automation cycle to realize the greatest benefits.

If you’re looking for the expertise and services to improve your compliant private or hybrid cloud solutions, or to automate and enhance your Data Backup and Disaster Recovery capabilities, Otava can help. Consider our secure, compliant cloud solutions managed by a team of experts trained in the latest security best practices. Call 877-740-5028 or contact us to learn more.

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