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CIO Roundtable: Learnings and Trends for 2024

Anna Daugherty
Anna Daugherty
Published on
April 4, 2024

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Table of Content

CIO Reflections on 2023

Technology Challenges and Trends for 2024

The DevOps Journey

Top Tips for IT Leaders

Watch Full CIO Panel

In a recent roundtable discussion, Opsera's President and COO Patty Hatter, gathered insights from two distinguished IT executives: Murali Rathnam, VP of IT Infrastructure at Workday and Brad Bell, formerly CIO at Infoblox.

The discussion delved into reflections on 2023, trends and challenges for 2024, and key takeaways for CIOs and other technology executives.

CIO Reflections on 2023:

Murali Rathnam began by highlighting the impactful and transformational nature of 2023. Key trends included the pervasive influence of artificial intelligence (AI), a continuous focus on security, the evolution of digital employee experiences, and the ongoing transition to the cloud.

He emphasized the increasing complexity in IT, emphasizing the importance of scale, velocity, and agility in meeting business needs.

Brad Bell echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the significance of the workforce's transition to hybrid models. He discussed the challenges of measuring productivity in the post-pandemic era and the pivot towards operational effective growth in response to changes in interest rates.

Brad also touched on the buzz around AI and the need to separate hype from effective implementation.

Technology Challenges and Trends for 2024:

The conversation then shifted towards the challenges and trends that IT executives should keep top of mind in 2024. Brad highlighted the need to manage technology as a business, highlighting the importance of articulating support, run costs, and development costs. He stressed the significance of self-funding innovation through efficient operations.

According to the panelists, the top challenges and trends for 2024 include:

  • Economic Volatility: The economy shows both positive and negative indicators within the same quarter, impacting budgets and creating uncertainty.
  • Tech Hiring and Slowdowns: Fluctuations and slowdowns in tech hiring have consequences for IT organizations, affecting budgets and operations.
  • Need for Speed: There is a push for organizations to move quickly, and IT is seen as the key accelerator for this transformation.
  • Staffing Challenges: The demand for accelerated IT comes with staffing challenges, expecting more output from teams with potential limits.
  • Financial Management: Managing technology as a business is emphasized, with a focus on articulating support costs, run costs, and development costs to drive conversations around speed and efficiency.
  • Self-Funding Innovation: A strategy of achieving operational efficiency to redirect resources towards development, termed as "self-funding innovation."
  • Clean Operations: Emphasis on maintaining an operationally effective and efficient environment, including regular optimization of the portfolio and a clean development shop.
  • Workload Articulation: The importance of clear articulation of workload, using DevOps models to calculate and manage team capacity effectively.
  • Operating Model Alignment: Aligning the operating model with company priorities and strategy to prioritize impactful workloads.
  • Prioritization Discussions: Encouraging open discussions with the executive team about prioritization, focusing on the most impactful tasks aligned with business goals.
  • Trade-offs and Priorities: Acknowledging the need for trade-offs and prioritization in IT, recognizing the importance of focusing on key priorities rather than trying to do everything.
  • Portfolio Perspective: Viewing IT as part of the overall business portfolio

Murali focused on the importance of aligning technology with business needs and strengthening enterprise architecture teams. Both executives highlighted the need for transparent communication, prioritization, and the management of tool sprawl to enhance organizational efficiency.

The DevOps Journey:

As the conversation turned to DevOps, the executives shared insights into their DevOps journeys. Murali stressed the importance of outcomes over outputs, emphasizing the need for a clear understanding of the business goals behind technology deployments. He highlighted the challenges posed by IT complexity and the federated nature of tools.

Research shows that 9 out of 10 digital transformations fail - https://whartonbc.co.uk/insights/why-do-most-digital-transformations-fail/

Brad reiterated the need for lateralization, connecting core technologies within the company and the importance of tying organizational goals to execution layers. He discussed the significance of building a partnership between IT and other business functions, fostering collaboration at all levels of the organization.

Top Tips for IT Leaders:

According to research in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for DevOps Platforms, 75% of organizations will move onto a DevOps Platform by 2027 - opsera.io/Gartner

In encouraging IT leaders to make the most of their DevOps journey,, both executives underscored the need for transparent communication, emphasizing the why behind technology initiatives. Brad advised employing a consulting methodology, starting conversations at a functional level, and gradually moving up to e-staff levels.

Murali emphasized the importance of having a clear understanding of priorities, safeguarding effective portfolio management, and managing tool sprawl.

Together, the panelists shared top tips for IT leaders:

  • Focus on Learnings: Emphasis on personal growth through the ranks and the importance of learning outcomes over mere output.
  • Outcome-Oriented Approach: Shift from deploying applications to understanding and planning for the desired outcomes and purpose of technology.
  • Clarity and Communication: Clear articulation of goals and objectives at all levels, ensuring teams understand the "why" behind their tasks.
  • Business Prioritization: Ensuring alignment and prioritization across various business functions (sales, support, security) for a unified approach.
  • Resource Allocation: Prioritizing resources based on business needs, with a focus on effective portfolio management.
  • Safeguarding Prioritization: Protecting the prioritization process to maintain focus on key objectives and prevent dilution.
  • Effective Portfolio Management: The importance of maintaining an effective portfolio, ensuring that resources are allocated strategically.
  • Collaborative Evaluation: Involving multiple stakeholders in the evaluation process to streamline decision-making and execution.
  • Key to Success: Emphasizing that effective portfolio management and safeguarding prioritization have been key factors in achieving success.

As IT leaders navigate the challenges and opportunities of 2024, the insights from Murali Rathnam and Brad Bell provide valuable perspectives. Embracing transparent communication, aligning technology with business goals, and effectively managing the DevOps journey are key elements for success in the evolving IT landscape.

The consolidation of tools and a cloud-first approach emerge as pivotal strategies to drive innovation and efficiency.

Have questions about your DevOps strategy in 2024? Need help determining how to follow the top tips from this CIO roundtable? Let's Talk.

Want to watch the full recording? Watch now.

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