2022 is here, and the new year promises a fresh set of challenges ahead. IT leaders continue to navigate the digital age and a growing connected workforce that spans continents amidst the backdrop of a continuing global pandemic. In a recent survey, Gartner found that half of the enterprise already experienced a major business disruption over the past four years leading up to 2022. While IT workloads are growing with an estimated 64% of employees able to work remotely and more than half expecting an increase in working from home over the next year, most IT teams haven’t grown in size to keep up with new areas of responsibility. That scarcity is striking when 25% of large enterprise CIOs are expected to be accountable for digital business operational results within two years as a sort of “COO by proxy”.

As we’ve seen since 2020, a lot can change in two years. As CIOs are assessing their goals for 2022 and beyond, these are some important business resolutions for any IT leader to help empower a competitive and agile business environment.

1. Keep your eyes on the cloud.

Cloud Computing

The cloud-first mantra isn’t new. In fact, CIOs have been working to implement cloud-based systems and services for over a decade now to empower a more secure and agile business environment. No matter how much your IT team and organization have invested in the cloud, there’s still more work to do. While many organizations have hurried the implementation of cloud services since 2020, now CIOs have to solidify and build out their cloud platforms and environments through this year and into the future. Whether leveraging a multi- or hybrid-cloud approach, analyst Gartner predicts an overwhelming 85% of businesses will embrace a cloud-first approach over the next five years.

And, according to a recent MicroAge survey, more than half of technology leaders who partner with managed service providers (MSPs) are lacking support in the areas of cloud and cloud services. Actively partnering with a modern MSP can help you proactively respond to new cloud trends and fresh industry disruptions with a more automated no-code or low-code approach. Keeping tabs on new changes to cloud systems, subscriptions, pricing, and consumption is an ongoing priority for IT leaders that makes leveraging a modern MSP a must in today’s volatile, digital age.

As you may have read in our previous blogs, for the first time in years, Microsoft is changing how users consume and pay for six of the core M365 and 0365 plans. The approaching changes include price changes hitting users this quarter, this is just one example of the types of changes on the cloud that CIOs need to prepare for proactively.

Watch as Kyle Yencer, Vice President of Services and Connected Workforce shares what makes a modern MSP on the  SMB Nation Video Podcast.

2. Plan ahead for growing accountability in new business areas.

IT responsibilities expanding

Over the last two years, CIOs and IT Directors alike have been tasked with taking greater accountability in new business areas. Many CIOs quickly assumed responsibility for technology and digital in addition to people operations and data amidst the rapid proliferation of working from home. CIOs are now viewed as the chief data and digital officers. While the evolving approach to work in recent years has helped technology leaders demonstrate their business value, there are still new responsibilities expected as many CIOs oversee an increase in hybrid and remote work, going beyond the temporary measures their organizations took in 2020.

The past two years have helped CIOs prove their value to the business. However, they’ll need to assume new responsibilities going forward. Remote work once considered a perk and then an operational bandaid for businesses at the start of 2020 is the new normal. More than half of the American workforce expects to see an increase in working from home over the next year. That means IT leaders will be leading the path to a more permanent hybrid work environment. CIOs can expect increasing accountability in new areas including, people, operations, and facilities.

3. Protect your data and your business brand reputation with a robust cybersecurity approach.

Cybersecurity

As the workplace has evolved from a physical location to a digital space where colleagues connect and collaborate online, protecting your user and organizational data has never been more critical. With a remote workforce and growing amounts of customer details and data, CIOs must ensure that the areas of cybersecurity and governance are consistently covered. The endless deluge of emerging security threats and the growing potential for financial and brand reputation damage means that security should be the key focus even as CIOs start employing new edge technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and automation.

That means expanding your security resources and talent. Whether that means bringing in a Chief Security Officer or an MSP vetted in security services to arm your connected, cloud-driven workforce, or both—now is the time to act. In a recent research study surveying hundreds of IT leaders, MicroAge found that more than 85% of IT leaders are lacking support from their current managed service providers when it comes to cybersecurity. IT leaders must ensure that they have the right resources and outside knowledge to stay ahead of the latest cyber threats.

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Whether you’re concerned with staying on top of the latest cloud trends, keeping up with the new assortment of responsibilities from a new-normal remote workforce, or just trying to shield your business from growing cybersecurity threats, our experts at MicroAge can partner with you to uncover more innovative and streamlined approaches. Stop wondering if you’re reacting quickly enough with the latest business technologies. Drive more robust business resilience and agility with outside trusted expertise and reliable 24/7/365 support.

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