Top Challenges for CTOs and CIOs in 2021

2020 was a year of challenges, paradigm shifts, and rapid adaptability in the face of uncertainty. While the Covid-19 pandemic forced organisations to work remotely, it also brought technology to the forefront like never before. And while in 2019, businesses viewed digitalisation as a process that was simply ‘nice to have’, today, digital adoption is no longer an option but a necessity for survival.

In 2021, as technology continues to play an increasingly important role in business, CTOs and CIOs must evolve and discover new ways to scale-on demand, work seamlessly, and deliver more value than ever before. And so, we’ve made a list of the top four challenges for CTOs and CIOs in 2021 — factors that they should focus on to generate more revenue, improve customer acquisition and retention, and streamline operations.

1. Responding to the impact of Covid-19

According to 59% of the respondents of a recent survey, one of the biggest challenges for CTOs and CIOs in 2021 is recovering their business operations that were affected by Covid-19.

With entire countries on lockdown, travel restrictions, and the global rise of remote teams, IT leaders have several challenges to overcome. Budgetary planning, improving accessibility, increasing the use of VPNs, and establishing seamless backend operations — these are a few of the many topics that need to be addressed. And so, 2021 will be the year where IT will take centre stage, putting every organisation’s recovery plan to test.

While many companies are hoping to tighten their 2021 IT budgets, others aim to spend more on technologies to help make the transition to remote work smoother. In fact, with 19% of organisations planning on making work from home a permanent concept in 2021 and beyond, this is a much-needed IT upgrade. Besides, 2021 will also see an increase in the number of offshore teams, with companies looking to hire the best talents in the industry without the sky-high operational costs of hiring locally.

2. Cybersecurity

With the concept of remote and global teams becoming increasingly popular and technology evolving at a dizzyingly fast rate, one of the primary challenges for CTOs and CIOs in 2021 is cybersecurity.

Though hackers have existed since the Internet was established, the number of cyberattacks has significantly increased in recent times. In fact, according to RiskBased, data breaches exposed 36 billion records in the first half of 2020. And in 2021, this number is expected to increase unless IT leaders can devise a sure-fire, proactive, and strategic cybersecurity system. Strict data privacy regulations are quickly becoming the new norm, making data governance and protection one of the most pressing challenges for CTOs and CIOs.

And so, some of the top priorities for IT leaders this year include reviewing data access policies, securing remote tools, and migrating to SaaS applications and cloud data centres. We’ve also written a comprehensive guide on implementing cybersecurity when working with remote and distributed teams that can prove to be helpful for IT leaders who are looking to implement data security practices in 2021.

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Emilien Coquard

Emilien Coquard

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