Top Priorities for CIOs


Last Updated on May 15, 2024 by Team Experts

While some are preparing to enjoy the holiday season and wind down for the end of the year, others are taking this time to prepare, especially CIOs. CIOs are beginning to make plans. While there is an overwhelming list of things to achieve in the new year, CIOs can focus on a few key areas to guide their organization forward. 

By now, it has been widely accepted that the face of businesses and workforces has been changed for good. Broke down any resistance or stagnation around the digitalization of businesses. However, digital transformation is not an event. Digital transformation is an expedition of constant evolution to unlock enhanced user experiences and more competitiveness, disrupt more business models, and manage and secure an increasing amount of data. 

From cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to more universal cloud adoption and continued deployment of business process management, CIOs should focus on the top areas of investment for the upcoming year. 

What Should Be the Top Priority for CIOs? 

Many CIOs rank cybersecurity and ransomware prevention as a top priority. As cyberattacks become more frequent, advanced, and expensive to remediate, it is critical that CIOs implement an effective defensive approach. To survive in today’s workforce, CIOs will need to establish an environment that is ready to take on new technological challenges. CIOs should perform skills assessments to help them determine which of their employees need to be trained on existing and emerging technologies. 

”Ransomware prevention and protection remains top of mind leading .”

-Joe Cannata, Techsperts, LLC | techspertsllc

”The top priority for 2022 should be application whitelisting. Application whitelisting is a form of Zero Trust that helps protect endpoints. Computer programs can only run if they are on an approved list. This allows businesses to function while making a hacker’s job much harder. If they do send an infected file to an end-user, then the file will not have permission to run. Some platforms also prevent applications from connecting to the internet if that is not their core function. For almost every employee, PowerShell does not need to connect to the internet.”

-Jon Fausz, 4BIS.COM  | 4bis

”The top priority for CIOs in 2022 should be ensuring that if their organization is experiencing high turnover (as many are at this time), they are properly managing and securing remote (corporate-owned) devices.”

-Reid McConkey, Resolved Business IT Solutions Inc. | resolvedit

”By far, the most important priority for any CIO to take into account is employee training. Employees are the weakest link in any security protocol at any place. You could have the best security tools in place, but one bad click from an employee can bring down the whole enterprise. Additionally, a bad decision by an employee, allowing a vendor to bring in their own equipment, for example, can also put the enterprise at risk.”

-Ilan Sredni, Palindrome Consulting, Inc. | pciicp

”The top priority for CIOs in 2022 should be further utilizing remote productivity tools. In 2021, we learned that not everything can be accomplished remotely, but we also discovered that a lot can. The trick is using the right tools for the application. Remote communication has become second nature and businesses are now relying on chat and video conference even more than email. From a productivity standpoint, there are entire platforms dedicated to workforce collaboration, project management, file management, and workflow automation. Today’s CIOs need to be aware of what tools are available for their industry.”

-Craig Beam, MicroXpress | microxpress

What Makes These Priorities So Important?

We have seen cybercrime skyrocket as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors, and there are no signs of it slowing down. There is no one-and-done scenario when it comes to securing and protecting your environment.

”Ransomware prevention and protection is important because it remains a leading cause of major downtime and data loss.  Either of these can prove devastating to a business.”

-Joe Cannata, Techsperts, LLC |

”It’s an employee’s market in many industries. If you consider your company a part of this trend, being able to wipe, lock, and reset remote corporate devices will reduce IT workload and increase security significantly.”

-Reid McConkey, Resolved Business IT Solutions Inc. |

What’s the Best Way to Get Started with These Priorities?

”Ransomware threats can be minimized by deploying multiple layers of protection throughout an organization.  Some of these layers include zero-trust policies, next-gen endpoint protection, email security, employee training and dark web monitoring.”

Joe Cannata, Techsperts, LLC |

”I would work with a trusted partner to implement application whitelisting. They most likely deal with larger environments and have worked out the kinks in their system. The process is more user-facing than most security tools and can cause employee frustration. Working with an experienced team is crucial to this process.”

-Jon Fausz, 4BIS.COM  |

”Azure Active Directory or Okta are among the solutions available to businesses seeking to improve their security with central authentication and management.”

-Reid McConkey, Resolved Business IT Solutions Inc. |

”There are a few companies that specialize in cyber security training employees. Getting a program in which proactive training is encouraged by giving employees an hour a week to use, as well as training phishing attempts would go a long way towards protecting the enterprise.”

-Ilan Sredni, Palindrome Consulting, Inc. |

What Is a Task That Can Be Put Off until Later in the Year?

”While ransomware infections are frequently covered by mainstream news services, many organizations continue to rely on the wait and see approach rather than proactively enacting security protections to help mitigate these risks.”

-Joe Cannata, Techsperts, LLC |

”Employee phish testing and training could be pushed back if you are not already running it. The hackers have found ways to bypass this training. Mistakes happen and you don’t want end-users to be the final system barrier. Systems such as application whitelisting can help protect employees from themselves and others.”

-Jon Fausz, 4BIS.COM  |

”We personally recommend tackling security and infrastructure first, like always. Security being the issue at the forefront for Q1 2022 (continuing to monitor and remediate Log4J exploits + ransomware).”

-Reid McConkey, Resolved Business IT Solutions Inc. |

”A task that can be put off until later in the year is in-house hardware infrastructure upgrades. Microsoft Azure is making it easier than ever to move your Windows Servers to the cloud. Before making another major hardware investment, CIO’s would be wise to explore cloud options instead.”

-Craig Beam, MicroXpress |

Final Thoughts

”Overall, application whitelisting is just a small part of the cyber security picture. Persistent threat detection, employee training, enterprise EDR, enterprise backup, and a security operations center are necessary to provide a robust defense. Security is a mindset and working with a trusted partner is the key.”

-Jon Fausz, 4BIS.COM  |

”With the recent global issues from vendors that are supposed to “just work” (looking at you Amazon), we’ve moved our RMM solution and documentation platforms to in-house, on-prem hosting. We recommend that every company assesses their cloud and on-prem services, and consider a hybrid rather than cloud-only for some essential services.”

-Reid McConkey, Resolved Business IT Solutions Inc. |

With today’s unique foundation, CIOs have an incredible opportunity to become business drivers. This doesn’t mean your old playbook has to be tossed out, but everything in your playbook may no longer be sufficient. Presents an opportunity for CIOs to establish new chapters in their playbook that puts security, technology, and employees at the core of the business.

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Anil is an enthusiastic, self-motivated, reliable person who is a Technology evangelist. He's always been fascinated at work especially at innovation that causes benefit to the students, working professionals or the companies. Being unique and thinking Innovative is what he loves the most, supporting his thoughts he will be ahead for any change valuing social responsibility with a reprising innovation. His interest in various fields and the urge to explore, led him to find places to put himself to work and design things than just learning. Follow him on LinkedIn

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