Are CIOs masters of trends or victims of trends?

Are CIOs masters of trends or victims of trends?

Ram Ramachandran at Tech Mahindra describes the key role that CIOs need to play in taking their enterprises to a leading position in regional market and the role of innovation.

I was reading an article recently and this phrase caught my attention, “CIOs can be trend masters or trend victims.” Very aptly, I believe this is what sets a leader apart from the laggard.

In today’s disrupt-or-be-disrupted world, it is a necessity. A CIO must lay a consistent and focused effort to stay ahead of the evolving technology landscape. The very key to stay afloat in this sea of information is to get hands-on experience from your architects or engineering teams to deep dive into the subject. By engaging with the team, you are actually bolstering their faith in the organisation by valuing their expertise.

The young generation is brimming with incredible ideas, and I believe that each one of us have a lot to learn from them. Additionally, we must focus on our constant pursuit for knowledge in a few different ways.

There is a lot of informational content available throughout several media, be it trade events, electronic media, social media, tech blogs, white papers, research, and so on, we must have a keen eye on such plethora of innovations happening around us and basis the organisational strategic needs, we should steer the growth in the right direction by implementing these new age technological assets.

In a crux, CIOs must analyse, engage, enable and strategize the perfect tech-led growth matrix for their respective organisations. In this race of perform or perish, CIOs must not forget their ultimate goal and not get drifted by this surge of technological advancements happening every single moment.

An organisation’s success rests on the CIO’s capability to transition from being a functional to a strategic business leader. I believe these key traits must be imbibed by CIOs in embracing the ongoing digital disruptions: Reimagine the role of technology in the organisation; reinvent technology delivery; and future-proof the foundation. In short, they must be the change agent to drive the digital transformation landscape.

CIOs recognise that change is happening at an ever-accelerating pace. They must act as the catalyst of change to enable the business to survive and thrive in the digital economy. The CIOs must protect the business’s digital assets, influence change and create a culture to engage employees and customers.

Many organisations in the region have embarked on a digital-first strategy, through aggressive deployment of technologies such as cloud, AI, digital infrastructure, IoT, and security, among others. The widespread use of digital services such as digital money and digital payments along with government initiatives and investment in robotics, AI, metaverse, cloud, 5G, smart cities and smart factories are further boosting the overall economic growth.

In fact, industry research on digital transformation initiatives in the GCC region, substantiated the fact that every 20% increase in information and communications technology, ICT investment results in over 1% growth in a country’s GDP.

It’s a clear win-win situation for the citizens at large where the government is consistently placing emphasis on building a tech-enabled future for the betterment and advancement of its citizens. In this regard, the public and private sectors have made significant gains in establishing a robust digital infrastructure that supports innovation and opens new economic possibilities. Such initiatives have offered a clear headway to technology companies like us in partnering with the government and driving future growth momentum.

Through open collaboration and shared success, we can build and transform the ICT landscape of GCC region, which will have far-reaching impacts on economic competitiveness, employment creation and sustainable development.

Businesses are being disrupted constantly, but controlling the disruption is not the solution. Surviving digital disruptions can be overwhelming and challenging at the same time. One of the most crucial aspects to stay relevant in such dynamic times is to develop purpose-driven organisations. Leaders need to take continued efforts to get the team aligned around a purpose that will eventually pay dividends in the long run.

This way, companies will not only be agile; they will also be resilient to unforeseen situations. In tune with the changing times, major focus for us, as the network of the future, is to help build capability solutions that actually create those transformation journeys for the customer.

At Tech Mahindra, we have been actively helping our customers and stakeholders be more purpose-driven and human-centric through connected experiences powered by emerging technologies including 5G, IoT, Cloud, AI and Metaverse.

For instance, we are enabling:

  • Faster and more effective robotic-enabled diagnosis for a healthcare institution
  • Robust connectivity for lifesaving, first-responder services
  • Risk elimination to human-life via a safer process for installation of doors through automated guided vehicles, AGVs at an automotive manufacturing plant
  • Safer deep-sea mining complimented by artificial intelligence, AI on low-latency connectivity – all of this enabled by a private 5G network, helping in faster connectivity, better access with more devices.

These instances depict a connected hospital, a connected mission-critical network of lifesavers, a connected manufacturing unit, and connected mining operations – a near-perfect connected world. While there’s a long way to go, our work has begun as we empower more customers with transparent and meaningful data that can better cater to their overarching sustainability goals while ensuring profitability; be it through their supply chains, energy usage, or social responsibility.

Advancement of technology has been positively impacting businesses and lives of citizens in the region. The public and private sectors have taken major steps towards creating a strong digital infrastructure with a view to foster innovation and open new economic opportunities. GCC countries are making bold moves to accelerate digital adoption in every sphere of life to develop and strengthen a sustainable economic model.

Saudi Arabia has created its Saudi Vision 2030 program and the United Arab Emirates is driving initiatives through its UAE Digital Government Strategy 2025, and the strategy is already bearing fruit.

Flagship giga projects in Saudi such as NEOM, the Red Sea Project, AMAALA, and Ad Diriyah are slated to drive significant technology spending in 2023 and beyond as Saudi Arabia develops greenfield digital infrastructure and platforms by leveraging advanced technologies like AI-ML, IoT, edge, and 5G to create innovative use cases.

With all these measures, investments in digital transformation across the Middle East, Turkey and Africa, Meta region is projected to surpass $74 billion by 2026, helping organisations achieve long-term stability and growth, according to an IDC study.

With growing adoption of disruptive technology in the region, at Tech Mahindra, we live the philosophy of connected world and connected experiences. We thrive on change that is powered by the intelligent symphony of technology and humans designing meaningful and sustainable experiences.

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