10 IT resolutions for 2022
CIOs have a long list of tech initiatives, product deliveries, and IT projects planned for the year ahead. Each one is, of course, important in its own right. Taken all together, though, they’re collectively driving some greater good for the enterprise.
With that in mind, we asked multiple CIOs to share their overarching objectives and goals — or, in the spirit of the New Year, to share their resolutions — for 2022.
Here’s a look at what they want to achieve and how they’re planning to succeed.
1. Maximize people power
Booz Allen Hamilton believes its staff is its greatest resource, so CIO Brad Stone lists enabling each of them as his No. 1 objective for 2022. The goal, he explains, is “providing the services and digital environment that every one of our users wants so they can maximize who they are.”
That’s a big lift for a company with 29,000 employees, who — like employees at many other organizations — will continue in a work-from-anywhere environment.
“We’ve learned a lot about what a hybrid environment means, but we still have a lot of unknowns. We don’t always know what our users want, what work means for them, but we still want to make sure our people are supported no matter where they are or what they’re doing,” Stone says.
He plans to build worker personas, look for commonalities across them, and tap into the user communities to identify needs and then deliver options to meet them — but without creating an overwhelming sprawl of choices.
This objective, he adds, “ties to our core business objective, which is attracting, retaining, and expanding our people.”
2. Be more empathetic
Abha Dogra, senior vice president of digital technology and North America CIO for Schneider Electric, traveled to Mexico in early December to visit workers she hadn’t yet met in person. She considers the trip an early start on her 2022 goal of using more of her emotional quotient, or EQ.
“As tech leaders, we can be IQ-oriented; my behavior is driven by the IQ side of my brain. I don’t believe that will change, but I’d like to give myself a goal to really up my EQ side, where I should now be much more present to my team, physically, emotionally, to really help them evolve,” she says.
She traveled to Monterrey specifically to visit a team working in the company’s digital hub, which opened just months before the start of the COVID pandemic. Dogra says she made it a point to keep open time on her calendar and sit in open spaces, such as the office kitchen, so she could engage with staffers on a personal level and let workers know she’s available to guide, mentor, and teach as much as to lead.
3. Drive customer experience to the next level
Juliano says he envisions building a frictionless customer experience that delivers highly accurate information and directions to where they want to go — and that connects them with the other places they need to be on their journeys.
“We’re part of a big chain and we want to be a frictionless piece of that,” he says, explaining that his vision requires working with other businesses to connect platforms to offer the services customers need.
Juliano’s idea isn’t new, but it was sidelined for a time during the pandemic as other needs took priority. But Juliano is making customer experience a central part of his 2022 plans, building on capabilities, such as new apps for touchless services, that were delivered during the pandemic.
He says he doesn’t have time to waste: “I think customer expectations will double at a high pace now; they expect a fully connected world.”
Others see that, too: The 2022 Tech Trends report from Info-Tech Research Group found that 69% of surveyed IT practitioners believe changing customer expectations will disrupt business in the next 12 months.
4. Retain newfound agility
Organizations that made it through 2020 and 2021 did so, in many cases, because they were able to adapt and adjust through nearly two years of tumult and disruption.
“We all figured out how to be nimble by force. We don’t want to now lose that momentum. I don’t want to see people go back to being overly risk-adverse,” Juliano says.
He believes organizations, including his own, could backslide into past processes that required more steps to approve and make changes. Although he acknowledges the importance of processes and controls to ensure good decisions are made, he wants to see them nimble enough to sustain the same speed they enabled during the pandemic.
“Let’s not forget the lesson we learned: We can move fast. We figured out how to think and flex really quickly. Let’s keep doing it,” he says.
5. Get ready for growth
IT drove a lot of the growth that business saw during the past year.
Expect that to continue, according to the Snow Software 2022 IT Priorities Report, which lists “driving company growth” at No. 7 on its survey of top 12 CIO priorities for 2022.
“Armed with plenty of newfound experiences and reshaped perspective, 2022 will be the year for IT to take all that has been learned, set new baselines, and drive toward new levels of growth,” the report states.
Steve Heilenman, CIO of Benefix.us, a startup in the insurance tech space, has driving growth at the top of his list of resolutions for the upcoming year. The 5-year-old company has seen 121% year-over-year growth in its short history, and Heilenman says IT is essential to enabling the company to continue on that path of rapid growth.
Heilenman says Benefix.us IT is working to stabilize the company’s platform to accommodate that growth while also adding new features, such as the analytics capabilities that customers want and the automation internal teams need to keep pace with the increasing workloads that come with growth.
6. Flex data-driven capabilities
One of the top goals Eric Johnson, executive vice president and CIO of Momentive (formerly SurveyMonkey), has for himself and his organization: driving more business impact through the company’s data program.
Johnson spent the past year building the groundwork to really seize on that opportunity. “We focused investments in data infrastructure, hiring key skills and key wins,” he says. “In 2022 we’ll now push to define larger goals and projects to move the needle on critical business KPIs using data science and [machine learning].”
Management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. puts data as one of six “make-or-break priorities” for CIOs for