Top CIOs Priorities for 2022 Include Monitoring the Metaverse, Advancing AI, and Securing Tech Supply Chains


The to-do lists of technology leaders grow longer every year as software becomes more and more essential to business success. But America’s top CIOs say there are a few areas that will demand much of their attention in 2022, including technologies to delight customers, boost employee productivity, and guard against cyber attacks.

With omicron putting many full back-to-office plans on hold, supporting remote and hybrid workers will remain one of the most important priorities for CIOs in 2022. “We have a high-level idea of ​​what to expect. hybrid model should really look like. like, ”says Shankar Arumugavelu, Verizon’s global CIO,“ but there’s still a lot to be perfected in that. In its physical stores, Verizon intends to continue to evolve what it calls “contactless technology” that enables store workers to continue serving customers securely through a combination of mobile applications. , geofencing capabilities and portable devices.

Like Arumugavelu, who says he and his colleagues in the C suite will use the information gleaned from these and other technologies to continue to improve the way Verizon serves customers, many other CIOs will focus on finding new digital ways to improve products and services. For some, that means delving deeper into the metaverse and the technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) that underpin it.

Virtual technology with real potential

Suja Chandrasekaran, Chief Information Officer and Digital Officer at CommonSpirit, which operates 120 hospitals and more than 1,000 care sites in 21 states across the United States, agrees that there is a lot of hype surrounding the metaverse, but is excited. by the prospect of creating meaningful applications using virtual reality. and AR. ” At first [tech] disruption, the only way to make something real is with simple use cases, ”says Chandrasekaran, whose team is studying the use of virtual reality to help with the training and certification of nurses, in the aim to produce a prototype experiment in a few months.

Chandrasekaran also focuses on combining technology and data to improve the customer experience. Among several initiatives, CommonSpirit is looking to partner with other companies in 2022 to create wearable sensors such as heart rate monitors that outperform existing consumer offerings, but not so complex that they will need to be used. ‘regulatory approvals. “There is more magic to be created at the intersection of medical grade and consumer grade devices, which is a space we strive in,” says Chandrasekaran.

Finding ever smarter ways to use data generated by devices and online interactions will be another priority for CIOs this year. In comments emailed to Forbes, Lori Beer, Global CIO of JPMorgan Chase, says 2022 will bring “a continued focus on data governance, privacy and enterprise-wide platforms” for her team and adds that one of her main objectives is to help the bank to use the information generated. using the information it collects to create more personalized offers for its customers.

Industrialize AI

CIOs who have used data to fuel experiments with AI applications say this year is likely to see an explosion in the use of algorithmic models in businesses. “We’re going to go beyond pilots and proofs of concept,” says Verizon’s Arumugavelu, who adds that this “industrialization of AI” in his own company will help engineers better predict when equipment needs maintenance and will allow developers to create more and more. security code.

Ron Guerrier, HP’s global CIO, echoed this point of view. Like many other technology leaders, he has championed a strategy that uses AI-powered automation and agile development techniques to improve HP’s internal software operations. A key part of that evolution involves upgrading the skills of HP’s IT workforce, an initiative that Guerrier says started last year and will ramp up in 2022.

Retaining employees at a time when turnover is exploding due to the “Great Resignation” will be a priority in 2022 for all CIOs Forbes speak with. Likewise, we will find more ways to increase the diversity of the tech workforce, which is expected to become an even more pressing issue as AI industrializes. At HP, Guerrier said he plans to continue working this year with the goal of making the racial representation of the US IT team match the overall diversity of the country over time.

At first [tech] disruption, the only way to make something real is with simple use cases.

Suja Chandrasekaran, Director of Information and Digital, CommonSpirit

Guerrier raises another issue that is sure to be high on CIO’s priority lists this year. It predicts an increase in cyber attacks focused on workers commuting more frequently between homes and offices as Covid continues to disrupt plans to return to the office. Risks in the technology supply chain are also expected to receive even more scrutiny in 2022 following security debacles such as the massive SolarWinds hack and the recent Log4j crisis.

At Toyota Financial Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota, which has just dethroned GM as the best-selling automaker in the United States, technology leader Vipin Gupta says examining the risks in its supply chain in the digital cloud is already a top priority. America’s largest auto finance operation, Toyota Financial Services relies heavily on third-party cloud services. It will therefore spend more time in 2022 identifying where there may be concentrations of risk within its global ecosystem.

“Now we have to worry about vendors of vendors and their suppliers,” says Gupta, who has also been heavily involved in leading a major project to help the company build a business as a financial services provider. to other companies. Toyota’s finance arm already has an agreement with automaker Mazda and recently signed one with parent company Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s to finance the purchase of boats, all-terrain vehicles and other products.

From technology to the top

Gupta’s role has expanded with the company, which means it will have even more priorities this year. Having served as CIO since July 2018, on January 1 he started a newly created position as Director of Innovation and Digital, which expands his remit to include responsibility for things such as strategy and management. business planning, the incubation of new businesses and the management of certain businesses. lines within the company.

Executive recruiters predict that more CIOs and CTOs will be given broader responsibilities this year, which could see them increasingly in line to take on CEO roles in the future, much like Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s CTO, was promoted to number one at the company following the departure of Jack Dorsey last November. “Tech leaders are getting really good at driving change,” says Craig Stephenson of executive search firm Korn Ferry. “They become company-wide leaders rather than functional leaders. “


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