The consequences of widespread lockdowns and social distancing norms have been felt deeply by CIOs grappling with rapid digital transformation to enable remote working while ensuring secure transformation.
Cloud-first enterprise systems seem to be the future of work. For users, the benefits are apparent. They provide instant connectivity from anywhere promptly and reliably. For CIOs, however, the transformation is not so straightforward. Organizations must juggle enhancing business agility and continuity without compromising safety.
The CIO’s mandate in the post-COVID era is not just cloud transformation but ensuring secure cloud transformation.
Strategic Decisions before Cloud Transformation
As CIOs look at digital transformation by incorporating cloud technology across processes and systems, a few strategic decisions need to be made. At the forefront of those decisions is the question of cybersecurity.
A technology-enabled business places a lot of importance on confirmingcloud security. One of the key elements here is that data must be encrypted in transit and at rest. Using encryption software is one way of data protection.
Besides encryption, the CIO, along with the leadership, must take a critical look at the data the company intends to put on the cloud. Who has access to data? What data is valuable, and to what extent? How much data and what kind of data can the entire workforce access? How much will be put on the private cloud? The classic castle-and-moat strategy towards data security may not be sufficient for today’s time.
Then comes, designing the cloud application. The next strategic decision would be identifying the right technology service provider - whether the CIO must choose a best-of-breed solution provider customized in specific verticals or an all in one platform that enables the entire digital transformation. This decision broadly depends on the stage of digital transformation within the company. In the initial stages, an all-in-one solution could help kickstart the journey. However, best of breed solutions can help companies on their digitization journey, level-up their transformation.
The third critical question to address is where the cloud investments must focus on. Instead of spreading limited resources thin, CIOs today must focus cloud transformation on business functions that offer enhanced user experience, scalability, and accelerated impact on the bottom line.And HR tech is one of the most straightforward quick wins organisation can begin their cloud transformation journey with.
The CIO mandate for secure HR Transformation
A CIO must consider the following parameters to ensure a secure HR Tech transformation:
- Defining the objective and scope of HR cloud transformation:
Rather than jumping into the abyss of digital transformation, the CIO must define the philosophy and objective behind this move. Is the goal to automate processes? Is it to have a central repository of data for various purposes? To maximise employee experience? The broader and most important question would be, “What is the new digital ecosystem that will further the interest of the company’s goals?” This will provide the context for defining the scope of transformation.
- Aligning it with overall business objectives and priorities:
Any transformation in HR will lead to changes and metamorphosis in the company as a whole. It has the potential to change the way the company works completely. In this case, the critical question for the CIO is, “Is this transformation in line with the company’s mission and vision in the long-run?”
- Identifying the right technology solution provider:
The role of software-as-a-service is quite relevant in an age where specialization and expertise are a must. A specialist cloud provider and technical partner's expertise can go a long way in providing a more refined and nuanced transition. The CIO must evaluate available technology solution providers and make critical decisions on partnering with the right one that will set them up for long-term success.
- Ensuring data security and protection:
Much of the triumph of digital transformation is rooted in the surety of data security and protection. Any cloud solution must ensure enough checks and balances are present to safeguard data and protect the company’s interests. Security applications must also consider remote working requirements and make sure access to data is not misused by employees.
- Evaluating the return on investment:
The goal of digital transformation must ultimately have a favorable impact on the business goal. How does it add value to the organisation? Does it reduce cost per hire, for example? Or, does it increase efficiency, which leads to better performance? While quantifiable results may not always be visible in the short term, pre-defined metrics help to measure the returns on the investment.
- Assessing the feasibility of time to market:
In today’s fast-paced world, time to market is one of the most critical aspects of transformation. The CIOs must also consider the flexibility of the applications that can keep pace with the rapid acceleration of technological innovation.
At Darwinbox, we leveraged our years of expertise to create an end-to-end HRMS suite that is completely customisable and hence equips the CIO with the required agility to implement the digital transformation in no time. The gains on the time-to-market are immense.
- Planning for change management:
Planning for this change management becomes crucial in the establishment of this new digital ecosystem. The CIO would need to garner all the support from the entire organisation. With buy-in from the leadership, the transition to the new processes and systems must be planned, keeping in mind the end-user. Preparing the team for the change will eventually lead to easier adoption of a culture of digitalization.
CIOs have a pivotal role in digital transformation and business efficiency as the company becomes more ‘cloud mature.’ As we move towards a future where technology plays a key role, Cloud Transformation is inevitable. As the popular adage goes, it’s not a matter of ‘if,’ but when and how.
Awarded the “Most Preferred HCM in Asia” in 2018 and 2020 by Gartner, Darwinbox is also fast becoming the choice of HR Tech for many organisations in the BFSI sector. With clients like Ujjivan Small Finance Bank, National Stock Exchange etc, we are up to date with all the security compliances.