Is there any position within an organisation that has gone under more change than the CIO?

These IT decision makers are tasked not only with delivering efficient IT services for their company, but have also had to concern themselves with the improvement of the business outcomes as well.

As such the cloud is one area that IT decision makers are finding themselves talking about more often, with a 2018 ISPOS research study commissioned by Citrix South Africa found that 51 percent of businesses have made the move to the cloud.

This primarily driven by a need to ensure that the workforce of one’s business are able to function more efficiently than they were previously.

Brendan McAravey, Country general manager at Citrix SA, says this move is not an easy one to make, especially when the complexities of orchestrating different cloud environments is concerned.

“You must protect your apps, content, users, and networks,” stresses McAravey.

The Cirtix SA GM has also offered up some valuable advise for CIOs aiming to keep up with the complexity of IT, as well as simplify infrastructures while providing centralised control.

The first is focusing resources on accelerating business outcomes.

With the role of the CIO changing in recent years, the vast majority are seeing their scope broaden wider than the usual IT areas. In fact, 84 percent of surveyed CIOs in an IDC study stated that their responsibilities laid outside of traditional IT.

“Simplifying an ever-increasing complex IT infrastructure will free up resources and help the IT organisation drive better business outcomes,” says McAravey.

This can secure the digital workspace he adds, which in turn makes it easier to merge legacy infrastructures with new technologies.

Next is enabling your employees to work from anywhere.

The rise of workplace mobility is something that shows no signs of slowing down, according to McAravey, with the Citrix/ISPOS study noting that it will increase by 67 percent over the next five years.

It’s something that employees expect as well, and should CIOs be able to facilitate this expectation, it can go a long way to improving the efficiency of one’s business.

“Employees expect to have access to whatever device or app they need, whether they’re at the office or on the go. They also expect the same seamless experience, regardless of where they’re working,” adds McAravey.

Third is designing and delivering a simple cloud strategy.

“Your strategy should shift apps and data to the cloud to accelerate innovation and agility, while ensuring flexibility and control,” emphasises McAravey.

This as organisations often utilise a mix of different cloud services, along with employees also introducing their own cloud tendencies. The result is an ecosystem that is vulnerable from a security perspective, as well as proving inflexible and difficult to control.

As such, ensuring that one’s cloud strategy is as simple as possible is the most effective strategy.

Speaking of security, that’s the next aspect that needs addressing.

The traditional approaches to security need to be abandoned in the age of IT complexity, with McAravey advocating for a smarter security platform and solution to be in place.

Adding that, “access is based on who the users are, where they are, and what devices they are using.”

“To easily manage this smarter type of security, you need new solutions that think about security differently, such as a digital workspace with a secure digital perimeter,” he continues.

The final strategy that McAravey touches on is the adoption of a more global mindset.

“Year by year, the world becomes a smaller and smaller place to do business,” adds the GM.

This has also opened up the opportunity to access newer IT resources and the cost efficiencies of outsourcing when necessary, along with the complexity that comes with managing a dispersed workforce.

These aspects can be addressed be the implementation of a single unified platform, such Microsoft Azure says McAravey. With it also able to comply with data governance restrictions, which is another growing concern.

“This geographic flexibility also allows IT to keep data inside national borders as required, simplifying regulatory compliance,” he concludes.

It therefore looks like McAravey’s go-to methodology when tackling the complexity of IT then, is to keep things as simple as possible, while also ensuring that control is easy to manage.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]