June 18, 2019

Riding the Wave of Big Expectations or Why Today’s CIO Needs a Superpower

"What if the role of the CIO were not just to deliver tactics against pre-existing business requirements, but to redefine what’s possible for an enterprise?"

Wired Magazine asks the question rhetorically as they outline CIO's sub-roles of strategist, catalyst, technologist and operator. The challenge and opportunity in these being agility; creating opportunities to expand beyond a “just plumbing” organizational mindset and create a more favorable view: technology (and IT technologists) have the power to deliver true value and the opportunity to the business.

The role of the CIO has been rewritten

Automation, cloud, data analytics, machine learning and IoT, plus a host of other transformative digital technologies have pushed the CIO to become more visible, more enterprising and a business enabler.

While role transformation is a part of all industry evolution, the pace and severity of change in IT stretches even the most ambitious leader. TechTarget captures the significance of the change this way:

“CIOs are [now] relied upon to lead their companies' digital advancements by creating an IT strategy that sets the course of innovation while accommodating digital initiatives.”

A job description that demands innovation building is pressuring enough. But more challenging is that headcount and budget allocation has not grown in proportion to expectations for the role. Basically, IT is expected to do more with less.

Creating leverage

84% of top CIOs now have responsibility for areas outside of traditional IT.

Digitization spurs new priorities – alongside a full slate of historical departmental responsibilities. In enterprise tech speak leverage simply means: tools, systems or techniques to amplify the application of a small effort into an even greater output.

Digital transformation won’t fit nicely alongside traditional management processes or cleanly under one leader’s org chart. IT leaders have to get more. More out of themselves, their teams and their dollars to succeed in the new enterprise era.

One industry survey shares that at least 84% of top CIOs now have responsibility for areas outside of traditional IT. The most common areas being innovation and transformation. Another shows that 95% of CIOs expect their job to change or be remixed because of digitalization. Regardless of where or how new responsibilities intersect business and technology, the common theme is that IT will have a primary role in delivering.

Yet, without suitable systems leverage, the onslaught of IT consumerization, a mobile workforce, big-data challenges, shadow IT and cost management will bog down CIOs.

Applying leverage

IT teams are expected to take on projects that are cross-functional.

IT is equipped with the perspective and technical know-how to cross silos, functions and divisions. So as enterprises evolve, IT teams are expected to take on projects that are cross-functional; the type that are resourcing saving, productivity enhancing and security enabling all around the enterprise.

And one of the latest assignments is managing SaaS.

Gartner predicts another banner year for SaaS use: $85 billion market size and 17.8% year-over-year growth. This is driven by the bottom-up model of software purchasing where “[...] people expect to try, buy and deploy an app in a few minutes or less, and without contacting IT [...]”, according to InformationWeek.

The volume overwhelms any IT team’s capacity to access, organize, prioritize or manage software. But with significant cost and security concerns, IT must pay attention. Hiring more people is rarely an option. Assigning smart, capable headcount to manage SaaS with spreadsheets? An option, but a strategic error. Here, systems leverage must be applied.

Enhancing leverage

Cleanshelf has become the de-facto cloud management superpower.

One option for it? An all-in-one SaaS optimization platform to track, optimize and benchmark cloud subscriptions.

For dozens of senior IT leaders, Cleanshelf has become the de-facto cloud management superpower. It creates needed leverage, in critical cost-savings areas, quickly. The fully-automated solution directly integrates with financial systems and cloud accounts to track spend and help leaders maintain cost-effective software use cultures.

No static spreadsheets to manage. No lost licenses to account for. No out-of-compliance managers to chase down. No wasted dollars.

Bottom line, adapting to a changing enterprise landscape, meeting company expectations and creating value requires that IT finds leverage. And if it can come in software form, be applied with minimal disruption and on a low-cost, low-risk basis, IT leaders should take a look. The leverage is enhanced only by the right tools.

About Cleanshelf

Cleanshelf is the leading SaaS spend optimization solution focused exclusively on tracking, controlling, and benchmarking subscription SaaS applications. Cleanshelf’s cloud technologies help companies save up to 30% on their SaaS spending by automatically identifying unused, underused, or unmanaged licenses and subscriptions.

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, Cleanshelf serves dozens of clients, including Drawbridge, Revinate, Dynamic Signal, Qumulo, and Service Rocket.

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