Planning ahead and being adaptable are always factors that drive the success of a business, and this is truer than ever in uncertain times. Amid such a context, CIOs have a key role to play: it is their responsibility to identify the major trends to come, to prioritize them, and to seek out the technologies likely to help their company rise to future challenges. So, what are the key points that CIOs need to keep in mind in 2023, to anticipate, adapt, and thereby ensure the success of their organization?

1- More effectively protect against cyber risks

In 2023, CIOs will need to be more cautious in the face of increasing cyberattacks. Because, yes, organizations are targeted by all sorts of virtual threats—with very real consequences for their operations, finances, and reputation. For example, the Cesin barometer shows that one out of two companies in France suffered a cyber attack in 2022. This situation is fueled by digital dependency, the growing use of SaaS tools, and the ever-increasing volume of data.

As a CIO, you need to get ahead of the curve and strengthen your IT infrastructure to stay ahead of the cyber threat.

It turns out that in 2023, cloud computing is destined to become an essential part of companies’ protection strategies, in particular by virtue of its data management and security features, and because of its great flexibility in replication and storage. In essence, in the cloud, third-party copies can be made very quickly without having to roll out expensive hardware infrastructure. For Gartner, it is also a question of implementing a true “digital immune system” with a view to improving the cyber-resilience of critical systems and reducing IT downtime.

2- Invest in new technologies to gain flexibility and resilience

In 2023, the CIO’s attention will need to be focused on the opportunities presented by new technologies, with the goal of achieving greater resilience and flexibility. Regardless of the company’s level of digital maturity, it will be important to invest in technological components as varied as adaptive AI, Superapps, or even the Metaverse (although setbacks encountered by Meta have put this in doubt), while taking care to rationalize the IT budget.

In particular, the topic of adaptive AI is worth delving into for any CIO. The recent buzz around ChatGPT demonstrates not only a keen interest in artificial intelligence among organizations in every business sector, but also (and more importantly) the marketing, sales, and operational possibilities brought to bear by such technology. Adaptive AI goes even further, as it relies on real-time feedback to perfect its learning and adapt (including the ability to rewrite its own programming). Amid a volatile economic environment, such technology is likely to give organizations a significant competitive edge.

3- Make the transition to Cloud computing

2023 is undoubtedly the year of the Cloud, and that is not a trend that CIOs should ignore. According to a study by Gartner, by 2025, 51% of enterprise IT budgets will be focused on the cloud (up from 41% in 2022), demonstrating a true “transition to cloud computing.”

The faster pace of that transition is one of the consequences of the pandemic and the reorientation of companies towards digital technology. But it can also be explained in other ways: by the high adaptability of elastic, highly scalable, flexible, service-centric cloud infrastructures. Not to mention the fact that the cloud offers a more secure working environment than on-premises data storage infrastructure, with endless possibilities for protection—ongoing security updates provided by service providers, data storage replication solutions, possible use of a private cloud, etc.

And we can expect that fundamental shift to continue, with companies moving en masse to the Cloud to gain agility and to secure their data infrastructure. That is a shift that CIOs should not miss out on.

4- Commit to a more sustainable approach

Sustainability is changing the strategic priorities of entrepreneurs, and it’s a (major) trend that CIOs will need to consider in 2023. In doing so, “ESG companies” improve their energy and material efficiency, positively develop their reputation with customers, and enhance their brand image. They reap economic benefits too: according to Accenture, companies that have taken the lead on ESG issues perform better financially than their peers, generating up to 2.6 times more value for shareholders.

CIOs need to take a proactive approach to this subject, as data accessibility is key to assessing progress on ESG (environmental, social, and governance) goals and to fostering an in-depth transformation of the strategic and operational model. But they also need to carefully evaluate the computer environment itself with a view to using as few resources as possible, especially in data processing.

Here, a “Cloud first” approach makes sense. PricewaterhouseCoopers showed that 60% of the CEOs of the largest U.S. companies are already using, or considering using, a Cloud environment to strengthen their ESG efforts, including by trying to improve their reporting and meet their carbon-emissions reduction goals.

It is a well-known fact of the business world that those who react quickly always fare better than those who do not. In 2023, CIOs have every interest in injecting more flexibility into their processes and anticipating tomorrow’s disruptions as best they can
by making Cloud computing their ally!