The Challenges and Celebrations of Canadian CIOs Right Now

Written by Rangle.io

The Challenges and Celebrations of Canadian CIOs Right Now

Canadian CIOs have a lot to celebrate. According to the CanadianCIO Census 2017, hiring is up, budgets are increasing (in some cases by as much as 15%), and there is a plethora of new technology that many companies are ready to soon deploy.

But the report also brought to light many of the universal concerns Canadian CIOs are facing today. CIOs must balance supporting the business with driving transformation, ensuring customer data is protected, maintaining customer loyalty and increasing revenue--all while trying to “keep the lights on,” the report says.

Who participated in the report?

To complete the report, CanadianCIO conducted an online survey in April of this year. In total, 164 IT leaders comprised mainly of CIOs participated. Revenue representation was fair. Some 32% had revenue of half a billion or more, 35% had revenue of $100 million to $500 million, and 35% had revenue lower than $100 million. Organizations ranged in size from 5,000 employees or more (20%), to less than 1,000 employees (52%), with the rest falling somewhere in between. Most respondents were from the IT industry (90%). The remainder of representation was in finance, sales, marketing, executive management and “other.”

What did they say?

Hiring for IT is steady.

The survey found that 44% of IT organizations are planning to hire in 2017. About half will remain the same, and just 7% will be reducing IT staff within their organization.

The largest hiring opportunities exist in:

  • Big data/BI/analytics (34%)
  • Business analysts (31%)
  • Enterprise app development (29%)
  • Mobile app development (25%)
  • IT network security (25%)
  • IT project management (24%)

These percentages are based on the number of respondents hiring in these areas.

Bigger budgets anticipated

The report found a direct correlation between budget increases and innovation spending. The bigger the budget, the bigger the spend. For those planning a 1-5% budget increase, innovation would be allotted 29% of the budget. That number grows to 31% for organizations increasing the budget 15-25%.

What does this mean?

With more hiring and bigger budgets, Canadian CIOs are taking innovation seriously.

Challenges

There is no growth without growing pains.

Challenge #1: Outsourcing

Many CIOs reported disappointment in some unexpected areas, one of which is outsourcing. Of all respondents, 28% expressed that the benefits of outsourcing fell below their expectations, with vendors facing “a significant challenge to demonstrate the value of outsourcing.” Just 10% felt outsourcing had exceeded expectations. Despite this, the majority of organizations (55%) expect their outsourcing usage to remain the same.

How Rangle can help

When outsourcing is done right, its benefits far surpass any cons. One of Rangle’s offerings is what we call Expand Your Team. It is technically an outsourcing option with many internal benefits that traditional outsourcing doesn’t provide. Our Angular and React specialists are often called on to help our clients build next generation web and mobile applications. Rather than having to hire staff internally, our team members become part of your team, working remotely and alongside you to bring your project to life. It’s a more contemporary, collaborative and cross-functional form of outsourcing that goes far beyond the typical outsourcing role.

The benefits to partnering with us mirror many of the benefits CIOs reported from outsourcing:

  • Reduced time spent on infrastructure (We’re familiar with next-gen and legacy systems)
  • Ability to focus on core business (let us focus on the technical stuff)
  • Better efficiency (our Agile process is iterative and succinct)
  • Reduced cost (No need to spend on training, we are already specialists)

Challenge #2: Implementing new technologies and hiring for new skills

CIOs reported struggling to comprehend the value of, let alone implement, some of the new, trendy technologies. Most notably, social media, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and Blockchain.

“We have found many first-hand accounts of how sensors and data analysis, the heart of IoT, have made quantum improvements in a wide array of industrial uses. Despite that, 40% of our respondents are simply monitoring the technology: “on our radar but no immediate plans to deploy”,” the report said.

Why is this?

One possibility is that CIOs must not only deal with technological transformation, “but the human aspects of organizational change” as well.

Respondents reported “people issues” such as organizational resistance, lack of skills, and lack of management commitment as the biggest impediment, followed then by technological challenges such as modernizing or integrating legacy systems.

Tasked with “finding the right people with skills in both new and old technologies, user experience and business results,” CIOs are struggling to meet the demand. “As an example, data analytics skills are seen as the most difficult to hire or to contract.”

How Rangle can help

This is one of Rangle’s favorite challenges to tackle. We love analytics, which is why we offer Web & Mobile Analytics as a service. We love working with our partners to dig deep into data and uncover the insights needed to increase revenue and conversions.

We have our own built-in analytics solutions that our clients use to measure and optimize their conversions. We leverage Google analytics and other analytics programs to paint the big picture while also honing in on the key areas of opportunity for you specifically.

We’re also big on sharing our knowledge. We work with organizations to provide Team Training and Mentorship to help your employees improve their understanding of technologies such as Javascript, Angular 2 and React. We offer both in-house and online training opportunities. Learn more here.

To download the full CanadianCIO Census 2017 report click here.

If you’d like to talk to Rangle about any challenges you’re facing as a CIO and how we can help, be it through training, analytics, expending your team, web and app design and development, or more, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today. We love a good challenge.