The CIO bridge between tech and strategy

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Perpetuuiti highlights the importance of proximity and networks, something the CIO South Africa community can provide.

The role of the CIO has evolved significantly, reflecting the changing landscape of technology and its impact on businesses, says Abhay Bagde, sales head: Africa and Asia Pacific (APAC) at Perpetuuiti. Abhay is a seasoned technology executive and business leader with 22 years of industry experience, and a Harvard alumnus.

“Traditionally, the CIO was primarily responsible for overseeing the company’s IT infrastructure and ensuring its smooth operation,” says Abhay. “However, in recent years, the CIO’s role has expanded to become more strategic and integral to the overall business success.”

Abhay highlights key some areas in which the role has evolved. To begin with, he says, today’s CIO is not just a technology manager, but also a strategic business leader. They actively participate in high-level decision-making processes, collaborating with other C-suite executives and the board of directors to align technology initiatives with the organisation’s overall goals and objectives.

Second, CIOs are critical in encouraging innovation and leading digital transformation projects within organisations. They detect upcoming technologies and trends that can give the organisation a competitive advantage and allow it to respond to changing market demands.

In terms of cybersecurity, as cyber threats become more complex and ubiquitous, CIOs (who are now also CISOs) are responsible for protecting the organisation’s information and digital assets. They oversee developing and implementing comprehensive cybersecurity plans, staying ahead of potential threats, and guaranteeing compliance with data protection standards.

CIOs are also increasingly involved in enhancing the customer experience through technology-driven solutions. They collaborate with marketing and customer service departments to deploy digital platforms, mobile apps, and other technologies that improve customer engagement, satisfaction, business value, ROI, and loyalty.

In addition, CIOs are responsible for managing IT expenditures efficiently while ensuring that technology investments generate a favourable return on investment (ROI). They evaluate the cost-effectiveness of IT projects and select efforts based on their ability to add value to the business.

“In essence, the modern CIO is a strategic leader who embraces technology as a catalyst for business growth and transformation,” he says. “By bridging the gap between technology and business objectives, the CIO plays a significant role in shaping the company’s competitive advantage and long-term success.”

Personal and professional development

Perpetuuiti, a CIO South Africa Associate Partner, says the platform is an excellent forum for personal and professional development. “Supporting the CIO SA community is beneficial for several reasons, as it fosters collaboration, knowledge sharing, and professional growth within the field of technology and business,” says Abhay.

In addition, he says, “The community is an excellent environment for CIOs to learn from one another’s successes and challenges through the community’s unique and interactive events, webinars, and roundtable discussions.”

This exchange of knowledge, according Abhay, helps individuals and organisations stay updated on the latest trends, technologies, and industry developments.

Abhay believes that those who choose to associate themselves with the CIO South Africa community can look forward to forging new and exciting relationships and partnerships. “Organisations can also discover new business opportunities, technology vendors, and potential strategic alliances through the network of CIOs – collaborations that can accelerate innovation and drive mutual growth,” he adds.

For Abhay, any industry or leaders within that industry who wish to make a meaningful contribution to the industry and society at large cannot do so in isolation; it can only happen as a collective.

“A strong and well-connected CIO community can advocate for the interests of technology leaders within their organisations and industries,” he notes. “They can influence decision-making at the executive level and ensure that technology initiatives are aligned with the overall business objectives.”

Unique product-offering bringing value to CIOs

Perpetuuiti is the global leader in enterprise resiliency automation, delivering up to 80 percent reduction in recovery time objectives (RTOs) and averaging 50 percent operating cost avoidance and efficiencies to the world’s largest banks, insurance, airlines, and stock exchanges.

“Perpetuuiti uniquely combines cyber resiliency and IT resiliency in one unified platform to enable organisations to recover from cyber and IT disruptions with the lowest recovery point objectives (RPOs) and fastest recovery time objectives (RTOs) in the industry, dramatically limiting data loss and downtime,” Abhay explains. “We offer a holistic approach that combines cyber resilience, IT resilience, business continuity and enterprise risk management to ensure that organisations remain functioning after a cyber or an IT incident.”

According to Abhay, organisations must be well-equipped as the frequency and complexity of disasters and cyber-attacks increase, along with regulatory demands to demonstrate all-time readiness.

Companies must prioritise the deployment of automated systems and processes capable of quickly detecting, responding to, and recovering from disruptive occurrences. “By automating resilience measures, organisations can reduce or eliminate the reliance on manual interventions, which are prone to human error and delays.”

Due to restricted availability and resources, IT teams are often forced to postpone critical disaster readiness drills due to a lack of resilience automation. Without automated systems and processes in place, IT professionals are frequently overloaded with manual duties and firefighting on a daily basis. IT teams are forced to postpone these critical exercises, leaving the organisation vulnerable to potential disruptions and ill-prepared to deal with the challenges of a true crisis.

Continuity Patrol is the industry’s most-comprehensive, most-modernised recovery automation suite enabling organisations to recover from a disruption or an outage with the lowest recovery point objectives (RPOs) and fastest recovery time objectives (RTOs) in the industry, dramatically limiting data loss and downtime. “Disaster recovery automation for the IT systems of large organisations is very important in terms of managing uptime of all related IT systems, which may otherwise lead to business or financial impact,” he explains.

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