CIO pain points and challenges
Portrait of author Barry Lane
Barry Lane

Head of Product Strategy

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CIO pain points: 5 common challenges

By Barry Lane on February 17, 2020

Generally speaking, the majority of CIOs or IT leaders we speak to at Peak tend to face two common challenges: they’re overburdened and underfunded.

Across various industries, those holding senior roles in IT often find themselves being asked – or expected – to somehow do more with less, whether that’s in terms of stabilization, turnarounds, or driving growth.

However, we’ve found that the appetite for innovation in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is there. In fact, according to research from Forbes, over 60% of CIOs believe AI and ML are the top critical future technologies

Why the big fuss? Well, enterprise AI allows the CIO to move away from the days of siloed data and the proliferation of Shadow IT, and instead empowers them to drive tangible outcomes for their business – with a focus on achieving rapid ROI.

However, there are hurdles to overcome when it comes to becoming AI-powered. Here’s our take on five of the biggest CIO pain points and challenges for 2020 that are faced by senior IT professionals, and some of the main barriers they come up against when looking to introduce AI into the enterprise.

1. No time to innovate

Research from IDG Connect has found that the majority of IT leaders (56%) agreed that their business placed more focus on maintaining operations and ‘keeping the lights on’, as opposed to driving innovative business initiatives and delivering transformational improvements. The benefit of introducing a solution like the Peak Decision Intelligence System, for instance, enables the CIO to drive innovation without the added burden of having yet another system to maintain. Simply put, it’s a quick win.

2. Shadow IT

Shadow IT refers to systems that are being introduced to a business by other functions outside of IT – take martech point solutions, for example. Due to the IT teams’ focus on ‘keeping the lights on’ as discussed earlier, innovation is often instead led by the rest of the business; meaning that IT leaders have less visibility on IT projects and systems being managed outside of their own department.

Of course, the concern here is that this leads to silos of poorly-managed business data that can’t be integrated for value. However, by integrating an AI System that spans the entire business, you can drastically reduce the need for Shadow IT and a proliferation of systems.

3. Impact on existing systems

Those CIOs looking to drive innovation or major change in their business will often get cold feet when considering the impact any new solution will have on their existing systems. Years of digital and cloud transformation projects have led to a high number of CIOs becoming bogged down in complex legacy systems and poor architecture, so they spend a lot of time thinking along the lines of “if we do this, how will it affect these 20 other disparate systems?”

The modern CIO should be looking for a way to introduce AI that integrates seamlessly with their current systems if they’re hoping for a quick time to value and a significant business impact.

4. Messy, siloed data

For many CIOs, the idea of introducing something like AI sounds appealing, but there will be major concerns around the current state of their data – “it’s too messy, we need to get everything in order first” is a common line we hear.

However, this is very rarely the case, and messy data does not mean that you can’t get results from AI. It’s better to start sooner rather than later in order to begin delivering value, and data unification across your systems is the first place your AI journey with Peak would start (and trust us, it’s not as scary as it sounds!)

5. Failed projects

Unfortunately, sometimes a transformation or change project may sound great in theory, but is difficult to achieve in reality. A large number of CIOs, therefore, carry the burden of having led expensive, time-consuming, and late (or ultimately unsuccessful) projects.

This can be an issue for two reasons; the first being that they may be hesitant to look seriously at exciting new tech opportunities, and the second being around obtaining the necessary buy-in they need to secure from above.

What CIOs need is to move away from outdated, risky transformation projects – and instead focus on finding the right partner to work with on an ongoing basis. This partner should be able to offer you the technology, people, and resources you need to ensure you are delivering continuous value from your data with AI and Decision Intelligence.


How can Peak help to address these CIO pain points?

Just like every business requires a CRM or finance system, we believe every business needs an AI System to compete and win in the modern era.

However, the last thing a CIO needs is another costly, time-consuming, rip-and-replace project ladened with the usual integration headaches. Peak exists to take the pain out of the process; our product is a central system of intelligence built to deliver the end-to-end AI workflow and make legacy systems smarter.

Our outcome-focused solutions deliver an ROI in months, not years, and we like to start small and think big with AI and data to solve common CIO pain points. What area of your business do you want to start with on your transformational AI journey?


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