Today’s executive leaders are being challenged to identify ways to help their organizations work smarter and adapt to a rapidly evolving landscape, and all of this while keeping expenditure as low as possible. Perhaps no role is under as much pressure to achieve these things than that of the CIO. As the individual most frequently leading the charge for digital transformation, CIOs are tasked with not only overseeing IT initiatives, but also take on additional responsibilities, like market positioning and revenue generation.
Thankfully, there is a not-so-secret weapon that can be leveraged to help executives in this role not only meet the growing demands that they are facing, but exceed those expectations to reach even higher levels along their career path.
A Shift in Perspective
CIOs have transitioned from being viewed primarily as a service provider to becoming an integral business partner. This, of course, requires an alignment between the overarching business objectives and the organization’s IT capabilities, including the help desk, network and infrastructure.
Conventional responses are simply no match for the ever-growing demands of the cloud, big data and IoT. As such, CIOs must take appropriate measures to ensure that ITOps does not interfere with or limit the digital transformation journey.
Introducing AI into the mix – a process now formally referred to as AIOps – has become a go-to solution for forward-thinking IT executives. And while early adopters may have focused on monitoring data and automating remediation to reduce downtime, more experienced leaders have begun to embrace and employ the technology’s advanced capabilities, such as chatbots and virtual support agents (VSAs).
AIOps has proven to be effective in optimizing time and resource allocation for the IT department, primarily by automating both routine as well as complex and multi-faceted processes. This thereby reduces MTTR, eliminates unnecessary work and boosts productivity, improving service levels across the board.
Achieving Self-Funded Status
When applied aptly and broadly, AI has the potential to become self-funded. That is – its overall, long-term and sustainable value far outweighs its upfront and/or ongoing investment. This is the ideal scenario, especially for the CIO who is under immense pressure to minimize costs without sacrificing quality and quantity of output.
Once self-funded status is successfully established, the results can then be lined up with the various key metrics that business stakeholders are targeting.
To start, CIOs and their teams should identify tasks, processes and workflows that are not only able to be quickly and easily automated, but will also produce rapid and quantifiable ROI. These will typically include repetitive, manual activities that are tedious but necessary to continuous business operations.
When these basic, “low-hanging fruit” are identified and successfully automated, the next step for the CIO is to ask questions and uncover areas or segments where AI can be applied to make processes and experiences more intelligent. Looking for repeatable patterns is a good place to begin.
The third step should include the creation of a formal inventory which lists these various business opportunities for automation and AI, and prioritizes them based on impact and feasibility. Again, the focus should be on achieving the ultimate end-result of a fully (or at least largely) self-funded operation.
Like it or not, the role of CIO is rapidly evolving. With so many critical hats to be worn, it can easily begin to feel like an overwhelming and unachievable task. Thankfully, with tools like AI and intelligent automation, those in this leadership position can boldly push forward, not only achieving the goals set forth for them, but exceeding them at every turn.
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