Sponsored: CIO’s taming the technology beast

There has never been a better – or more complicated – technology ecosystem available to help organisations reach their goals. CIOs from all sectors are looking for new ways to turn those technologies into business benefits.

04 July 2023

Vaughn Naidoo, Acting Executive: Centre of Excellence, MTN Business.

CIOs have had to think fast and act even faster for decades, but as the pace of change continues to accelerate, technology leaders are finding themselves navigating a business environment that leaves little room for prevarication. An ever-growing technology ecosystem, combined with increasing stakeholder demands, has put CIOs in the centre of a quiet revolution that has established a foundation for the future of business.

Whether they operate in mining, manufacturing, transport, tourism, or any of the other sectors that make up South Africa’s economy, CIOs have adopted a handful of technologies that are reshaping the way businesses operate. Some, like the cloud, are established enough that they are considered standard operating procedure. Others, like IoT systems driven by 5G networks, have started making enough of an impact that they are on the radar of most organisations,20237even though there are relatively few full-scale implementations.

Focus on agility

At the 2023 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, leaders spoke about the “polycrisis” facing not just governments, but the businesses operating in every country across the globe. In discussing the causes and effects of the “collision of stressors” around the polycrisis, WEF delegates reached the conclusion that organisations have no choice but to adapt, turn on a dime, move at speed and rapidly scale in order to stay successful.

This is nothing new for those companies that have been investing in the cloud to gain the kind of agility they need to stay competitive. Those investments have, in turn, allowed companies to start gaining the benefits of being able to harness new technologies strategically and effectively, leading to today’s burgeoning AI-driven platforms combining everything from IoT ecosystems operating on the edge to big data analytics.

The latest IoT Analytics State of IoT, Spring 2023 report shows that the number of global IoT connections grew by 18% in 2022 to 14.3 billion active IoT endpoints. In 2023, IoT Analytics expects the global number of connected IoT devices to grow another 16%, to 16 billion active endpoints. The report predicts that by 2027, there will likely be more than 29 billion IoT connections. These numbers will only grow as more organisations learn how they can best leverage the analytics capabilities of widespread IoT implementations. Today’s implementations are relatively small and localised, but they have opened the door to efficient automation and deep data insights. As more companies connect to low latency 5G networks, the number of IoT implementations will continue to grow exponentially, providing ever-increasing ways to achieve efficiency and improved operations.

Towards a data-driven future

As the benefits of today’s growing technology ecosystems are exploited, so are the concurrent challenges facing CIOs. Cybersecurity remains a vital concern, as do the skills shortages facing technology teams across every sector and industry.

Businesses have spent about $7.2 trillion on modernisation efforts over the past three years, Buy many IT leaders navigating today’s new digital reality are still not seeing enough value from their investments. The most common problem facing companies is how to harness, manage, process, and act on massive amounts of data at scale. Organisations are finding that they lack the right mix of skills needed to make the best use out of their technology investments. In a recent Forrester survey, respondents ranked skills shortages as their number one barrier to a successful multicloud strategy. Another survey, conducted by InformationWeek, found that the percentage of people who said staff skillset was one of their biggest concerns climbed from 26% last year to 30% this year. The same trend applies across the board, whether it be security skills, analytics skills, or even more specialised skills.

In light of this, it’s not surprising that more CIOs are turning to technology partners like MTN to not only fill in their skills gaps, but to help them gain the full benefits of their technology investments. MTN, for example, has developed an ICT Centre of Excellence (CoE) designed to drive innovation and efficiency across business, technology, operations and governance by establishing best practices and offering a cross-functional team of skilled experts.

Regardless of the areas in which their businesses operate, CIOs are trying to create order from the technology chaos resulting from their ever-growing ecosystems. With the support of the right partners, they are finding new ways to turn their technology investments into real business benefits.

For more information on how MTN Business can co-create solutions for your business, contact us on MTNBusiness.Marketing@mtn.com