Biggest Challenges for CIOs

Enterprise digital transformation has modified individual roles across organizations with the shared goal of delivering the best digital experience. The role of the CIO has expanded beyond internal technology uses and application and now includes cross-department collaboration to achieve business goals using technology and business innovation to foster organizational change. Combining their information skills with the CMO, who puts the customer experience at the center of their focus, means an elevated digital experience that encapsulates the customer journey. 

Aligning CIOs with CMOs is not easy if businesses are not digitally and strategically prepared. In our 2021 B2B report, 43% of B2B buyers said that they found inconsistency across channels, highlighting the importance of giving your customers optimized experiences that meet their expectations. But, for organizations who don’t have a digital-first mindset, evolving the role of the CIO can be challenging.


What is a CIO? 

The CIO role lies at the intersection of marketing and technology. Historically, the CIO has been responsible for the implementation and maintenance of enterprise technology. Today, the role has evolved into larger digital strategy, change management, and cross-departmental collaboration to meet both of those goals. It is the CIO’s job to understand how the world has changed today and what the next digital transformation requires before it is too late. 


What does a CIO do on a daily basis?

The core role of the CIO is being the company’s business technology leader. They need to know how technology can support their business across different organizations, and the impacts it will have on driving their results forward. As the CIO role shifts to a business leadership role driving digital change, it is important that they collaborate with marketing, technology, HR, and operations to provide their company with the most up-to-date technology and ensure the organization reaches its full potential.


What are the biggest current challenges in Enterprise IT?

The pandemic accelerated the need for a digitally skilled workforce, but with the challenges of the Great Recession, many companies haven’t been able to grow their teams at the rate needed to keep up with digital expectations. But, these companies can still overcome these challenges by partnering with digital consultants and managed services providers to supplement their digital team and keep goals on track. 

Another challenge is the greater need for agility and adaptation. Between a global pandemic catapulting nearly all purchases online, the greater expectations established because of that shift, and the new technologies making those digital experiences possible, companies have to be proactive in their planning, but also adaptive in response to changes.


What is the biggest challenge that CIOs face today?

With the implementation of any new technology, training and adoption take time to build and maintain. It’s one thing to have the right tools for success; but, without proper implementation, training, and adoption, the organization will not see the ROI it hopes for. Experts with the right knowledge of the techstack and the ability to provide around the clock maintenance, such as managed service providers, are essential to ensuring all technology is up-to-date and running smoothly. Inefficiencies and downtime could be costly and lead to lost revenue.  

Additionally, the evolution of the CIO means greater collaboration with the marketing department. CIOs should combine their knowledge of the digital landscape with their leadership and business skills to ensure that their organization is using their technology to drive measurable growth. Integrating the technology across the business is key to avoiding any gaps, which can get exposed when challenges arise. For companies who haven’t made digital innovation a priority, gaining cross-departmental alignment can be an uphill battle. Both departments must work together to ensure that the company’s digital presence is optimized and seamless at every touchpoint. We detail how here

As organizations look to empower buyers across their digital channels, it’s important to ask:

  • How well do our websites serve our buyers’ purposes and intentions? 
  • Do buyers have easy access to the most up-to-date product information?
  • Are we extracting insights from collected data to ensure they received their desired outcome?
  • Are we categorizing our buyers based on their purchases, behavior, geography, and any other factors that contribute to making their journey more effective?
  • Could we offer more personalized experiences to our customers?


What are the top 3 pain points faced by CIOs today?

  • Fostering a creative partnership with their CMO to build a long lasting relationship from their exceptional customer experience
    • Long gone are the days when the CIO and CMO worked separately. With the adoption of new technology to improve customer purchasing journeys, continuous innovation should mean more alliances across the organization. 
  • Ensuring that their organization has no technology gaps across the business to ensure a smooth functioning ecommerce platform
    • Today’s customers demand a seamless digital experience – and that starts with ensuring the martech stack is fully functioning, from discovery to purchase. It also means the internal team must be fully trained and utilizing all tools correctly.
  • Rising digital expectations and the need for constant evolution
    • Digital disruption is inevitable. Exceed customers’ expectations by collecting data properly and making data-driven decisions to improve the digital experience.


What does a CIO lose sleep over?

Simply put, a CIO loses sleep over bad or unoptimized digital experiences.

A CIO’s goal is to ensure that their organization has no technology gaps. 42% of buyers say that difficulty integrating suppliers’ tech solutions with their own solutions was a top pain point. The CIO must ensure that all technologies work together, so that their business is effective on all fronts. This includes marketing automation, CRM, and customer service. Any gaps in their system poses a threat to their buyer base.  

Customers are demanding a personalized experience – and organizations are working to make it happen. In a study conducted by Adobe, CIOs who met with their CMO on a weekly basis found that 95% of them improved their organization’s customer experience. With organizations across industries working to improve their digital channels, unique online experiences are the answer to standing out in a crowded market. 


How will the role of the CIO change in the coming years?

As the CIO role expands beyond IT to larger organizational strategy, their leadership style will reflect the growing partnership with the CMO. CIOs are now tasked with leading organizational change and business innovation in an effort to contribute to larger business goals. As customers’ purchasing habits move online, they expect more personalized content and smooth transaction services. Higher demands for better digital services means that outdated IT infrastructure and unorganized customer data is a loss for business. There is great opportunity to streamline and nurture the buyer’s journey through a deep customer connection. Through the CIO and CMO partnership, companies can use data-driven insights and sales funnels that attract brand engagement and establish higher buyer relationships.

CIOs and CMOs have unlimited potential to create a customer-first experience when they align their IT architecture with comprehensive marketing experience. Are you ready to take the next step? Download our Solutions for the C-Suite white paper to learn how to achieve alignment across your organization.

Joe Harouni
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Joe Harouni

Joe is passionate about planning and delivering Commerce solutions that enable a better customer, sales and service experience for his clients. With over two decades of web and app-based solution experience and dozens of launches across multiple platforms and industries, Joe brings an experienced and practical perspective to any objective.

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