The state of technology is in flux for CIOs juggling cybersecurity threats, expanding demands from business units and the challenge of having to compete for the very customers their organization is charged with supporting. An extensive survey in CIO Magazine revealed some of the challenges facing today’s heads of IT — a role nearly 90 percent say is becoming increasingly challenging.

Balancing innovation and operational excellence is one of the key difficulties, but business alignment, one of the buzzwords from the last ten years is trending down. Maybe it’s a sign of success in efforts to establish good governance processes linking IT to business. Rating the primary importance of the relationship between business and IT, 52 percent said it’s a key focus. This is down from 54 percent last year and more strikingly, 82 percent in 2008.

Maybe alignment is taken for granted today, or perhaps the rest of the company just has more options now. In 2014, the survey revealed that IT had direct control of 66 percent of tech spending, but 2015 saw that number drop to 57 percent. Groups like HR and Marketing are turning to cloud-based services that reduce their demands on internal IT from application performance and storage expertise to providing a computer, an internet connection and maybe remote access.

The survey reports that business demands have increased in number and complexity without a similar increase in staffing levels. CIOs are being pulled into fighting fires more often. 27 percent of CIOs report they are spending time managing IT crises, versus 19 percent just a year ago. Cybersecurity issues are the leading incendiary issue, with 46 percent identifying it as a focus up from 31 percent in 2015. It’s not really a surprise with the last couple of years seeing a number of high profile breaches that have corporate boards demanding detailed updates from their CIOs on how they are defending against the financial, operational and reputation risks.

A quick CIO guide to Uplogix

While the workings of an out-of-band network management automation platform like Uplogix typically fall far below the day-to-day interests of the CIO, they have more in common than one might think:

  • Increasing operational efficiencies | Out-of-band access and reliable automation make it possible to do more with less. IT staff can spend less time fighting routine fires and repetitive tasks.
  • Hitting service levels required by business units | Integrated service level verification capabilities drive automated responses by Uplogix Local Managers. Better data driving better decisions equals happier customers for IT.
  • Driving confidence in cybersecurity | Uplogix locks down long-time vulnerabilities and remote site management weaknesses with a secure platform that meets the requirements of both military and financial networks.