Top CIO Challenges Of 2021

Top CIO Challenges Of 2021

The pandemic has shown us that technology is an important part of modern enterprises. It has also brought to the forefront the importance of the work of a Chief Information Officer (CIO).  

The success of an organization in part depends on how a CIO carries out their functions. They need to manage IT operations and leverage technology, to benefit the business. This is because technology is at the forefront of trends and has a direct impact on the success of any organization. In this article, we will take a step further into organizational growth by analyzing the top CIO challenges of 2021.

Who Is A Chief Information Officer (CIO)?

This is an executive that finds ways that a company can leverage technology to their benefit. The growing influence of technology in industries has made the role of a CIO now very important. 

First, you must deal with the exploration of growth opportunities. You will also find ways for the enterprise to adapt to evolving trends.

A good example is how the work from home policy became popular due to the pandemic. A  CIO survey shows how companies now focus on work from home experience to grow their business. Also, he or she builds the digital platform and fixes the operating model of the enterprise. You can use the company’s customer service and technological prowess to outperform rivals. 

A 2020 survey shows how improved customer experience drives digital transformation efforts. So, it is important to improve the new and existing products of your enterprise. 

Top CIO Challenges Of 2021

Controlling everything that has to do with tech in an organization is not a walk in the park. It comes with a lot of hurdles. Here are some top CIO challenges projected for 2021:

#1. Cybersecurity and Privacy Issues

Hacking into a secured facility is no longer a sophisticated art. Many individuals can easily access a remote facility and carry out an illegal act from the comfort of their homes.

Though hackers have existed since the establishment of the internet, the number of cases of cyber attacks and hacking is on the increase.

In 2021, the number of cases is expected to increase significantly except the organization beefs up security. According to a study, 68% of business leaders feel their cybersecurity risks are increasing.

Mobile technology is one of the biggest security threats. Mobile phones are still evolving and this makes them a prime target for hackers.

For instance, while downloading an app, there is usually no way to verify the security of these apps, hackers often use the opportunity to tap sensitive information from a device.

The CIO needs to control the use of outside tools within the work environment. For example, at Old Mutual Wealth, certain tools — Facebook, Dropbox, LinkedIn’s, and a few others are on the not-suitable-for-work list. 

Also, hackers are learning new tricks, and organizations must catch up with the trend. Continuous improvement of the existing control framework is critical, including network defenses, anti-phishing, malware, and physical controls

#2. Ensuring Digital Collaboration

A whole lot of organizations now have some of their employees working from home. The good news is that it reduces the cost of maintaining the office, and the bad news is that it has made teamwork and collaboration very essential in business.

You must ensure that there is a working system to promote teamwork and collaboration especially in this era where remote work culture is slowly creeping into many organizations.

The CIO must provide answers to what I call necessary questions to guide the company’s digital collaboration philosophy. Some of these questions include –

  • Is the company’s remote-access infrastructure robust enough to handle remote work?
  • Are business applications cloud-ready?
  • Can your collaboration solutions cope with a massive explosion in traffic volumes as users switch to virtual collaboration solutions?
  • How secure is the dispersed office environment?

Once he has practical answers to this question, the company can be sure of a safe digital collaboration.

#3. Prioritizing Customers Experience

One of the crucial challenges for CIOs in 2021 is ensuring that they deliver great customer experiences. They must work collaboratively with the chief marketing officer CMO to co-design a friction-free customer experience.

The CIO must find a balance between accelerated Saas adoption which was necessitated by the outbreak of the pandemic, and security measures.

A very strict working culture automatically reduces consumer satisfaction. It is bad for the user experience.

CIOs must be willing to adopt agile practices and update their digital strategies frequently. You have to make people at all levels feel empowered.

The CIO must find a way to deliver customer satisfaction and the organization’s goals simultaneously.

#4. Securing and Training IT talent

Talent within a company is the core of any successful operation. Sadly, securing and maintaining existing talent is not always easy.

It is worse when you discover that hiring a new IT talent expert is not very easy to come by.

As technology continues to emerge rapidly, the ability to acquire and hire more skilled, technical roles will become a key concern in 2021. 

CIOs are expected to develop diverse career paths so that the top talent can advance in their areas of strength.

#5. Budgetary Planning

It’s no news that business in 2020 was affected by the outbreak of Covid19. This has altered many company’s revenues and has resulted in a slash in their budget.

While many companies aim on tightening their IT budget in 2021, others aim to spend more on technology to achieve smooth remote work. 

Many organizations are planning on making work-from-home a permanent concept in 2021 and beyond to upgrade IT. 

Almost every IT firm has limited resources compared to the company’s demand. This means CIOs must decide what initiative should be funded and those that should be rejected.

However, they will have to spend more and wisely on security as well as the safety of their employees which is in line with the Covid 19 safety protocol.

In addition to this, they must develop an IT strategy that’s directly aligned with the enterprise’s strategic goals. 

#6. Lack of Agility

Agility is the ability to move with ease or being active. CIOs can not afford to remain on one project for more than 12 months.

The competitiveness of companies in the technology-related world is determined by how flexible they are in computing resources and adapting to new ones, as well as the ability to scale existing technology. 

Companies should be able to deploy new digital packages as often as possible.

Final Thoughts

2021 is going to be hard on CIOs, concerning work. This is because the role is crucial to the growth and development of any organization. 

We have highlighted some top CIO challenges of 2021. Also, there are pointers in this article to maneuver the situation and make it work. 

contact us for a free evaluation on Six Modernization Drivers.

Application Modernization & Transformation journey

Application Modernization & Transformation journey

Over the years, there have been gradual changes in the world of application development. All these changes have been happening to make the process of developing applications much more efficient and smoother. The architecture, infrastructure, and delivery methodologies of apps have been changing, and surprisingly these transformations have all been happening concurrently. 

App developers and other stakeholders in the software industry have done tremendous work when it comes to innovations related to how the Apps are designed, the platforms they are run on, and lastly how they are delivered to the end-user. This gradual effort has enabled us to move from where we were to where to we are today. 

In this article, we shall discuss everything you need to know about application modernization. By the end of this article, you will have learnt what application modernization is and the various transformations app development has gone through over the years. 

What is application modernization?

Application Modernization (sometimes referred to as legacy modernization) involves conversion, rewriting, or porting legacy applications to a modern computer programming language, software libraries, and hardware platform. Organizations and individual developers have to adopt these newer trends of building apps to extend the lifespan of their applications without completely retiring an existing system. 

The impact application modernization has had on the transformation of legacy applications, in this case, is categorized into three aspects. These are; the Architecture, infrastructure, and then application delivery. Let’s briefly discuss how these there have been changing over the years. 

Application Architecture

Application architecture refers to how the application is built, and how it interacts with other applications. The software developers and organizations previously designed entirely monolithic applications. With the monolithic architecture, the user interface of the app and the data access code were all combined into a single program running on a single platform. 

This kind of architecture made the process of changing code and fixing bugs very complex. Monolithic apps are also not easily scalable because it would involve doing a lot of work just to add a couple of new features to the application.

After several years of trying to find the best way to improve application architecture, developers discovered a new way to develop apps and this was called Service Oriented Architecture (S.O.A). With this architecture, apps have distributed services that are inter-related for example web services, databases, and frontend services. So, the app isn’t one big chunk like it was with the monolithic architecture. S.O.A made scaling up and making changes to the applications much faster and cheaper. 

The architecture that is very popular today and used by several organizations is the microservices architecture. This methodology structures app as a collection of small services (microservices) that are highly maintainable, testable, loosely coupled, and Independently deployable. Apps developed with this kind of architecture are easier to scale up, maintain, and update over time. 

Application infrastructure

The second aspect of transformation the applications have taken is the infrastructure (machines/servers that run the applications after development). The legacy applications were running on physical servers. So, after the development process was complete, the organization had to acquire a new independent server to run that application, which was a very costly process. 

Organizations, as well as app developers, later adopted the use of Virtual Machines (computers inform of software). Creating a Virtual Machine (VM) is less costly than purchasing a physical server to run or test the application. After discovering this method, almost every organization and developer migrated from running apps on physical servers to Virtual machines.

In recent years, applications are now run on the cloud after development. IaaS (Infrastructure as a service) platforms like AWS and Microsoft Azure have made it even cheaper for developers and organizations to deploy and test their apps. With these cloud platforms, one pays for only the hardware they need and for a period they decide. Running apps of these kinds of platforms makes it easier and cheaper to scale up your application. 

Application delivery 

The delivery of apps to the final users has also been changing over the years. Most legacy apps were developed using the Waterfall methodology, where several phases had to be undertaken. These involved planning for the design of the app, the app development process, and finally the testing phase. This procedure made the app development process quite lengthy and costly. It also led to shipping apps with lots of features that final users were not interested in using. 

The application delivery process that came after this was the Agile development methodology. Agile software development is a technique for iterative and incremental development of applications that enhanced fast delivery and testing apps in the real world before proceeding to the next stage. Adopting this strategy significantly shortened the time needed to deliver the applications to the end-user compared to the legacy applications.

The new application development methodology that has gained popularity in recent years is DevOps. With DevOps, the software development (Dev) section works hand in hand with IT operations (Ops). This kind of app delivery takes advantage of the benefits of Agile development, but also involves other departments in the software development process, which leads to much faster app delivery.

Final Thoughts

Those are the three aspects of transformation the modernization of applications has gone through in the past years. One thing to note is how these transformations are inter-related. For example, the microservices architecture of building apps heavily relies on cloud service platforms to thrive.

All organizations out there are gradually embracing these transformations to take of the benefits they bring to the table. Applications modernization has also made scaling up of applications much easier and cheaper than it was a couple of decades back. Today, even individual developers can build their apps, test them and distribute them without incurring lots of costs. 

The rapid advancement of computing technology like processing power and efficiency has also played a key role in application modernization. As computing technology gets more efficient, the cost of building apps also goes down. In the future, we expect even much more sophisticated and easier ways of building apps than what we have today. So, developers and everyone affiliated with the software development industry should be looking forward to that future.

contact us for a free evaluation on Six Modernization Drivers.

AWS vs Azure Vs Google Cloud

AWS vs Azure Vs Google Cloud

In this era where most of the modern PC and mobile applications run on the cloud, the competition between the various cloud computing platforms is getting more intense. Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are the most popular cloud service providers at the moment. All these three have invested lots of resources in their cloud computing platforms to make them more robust and reliable.

But which one of these three cloud infrastructures does a better job? This question is what we are going to address in this article. We will compare Amazon Web Services(AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud basing on the following aspects: market share, services offered, availability zones, and pricing. Let’s dive in.

Market share

As far as market share is concerned, AWS is still very dominant with a share of about 33%. Coming early into the cloud space is one of the reasons why AWS is very popular. Amazon started their AWS division in 2006, which means they were way ahead of Google and Microsoft in terms of research by the time these came into the public cloud market. In second place is Microsoft with a share of about 20%, and Google cloud sits in the third position with about 9% of the market share.

Availability zones

AWS has been in the cloud domain the longest, so they have had more time to build and expand their network in several countries around the world. For those who may not know, availability zones refer to locations within the data center regions where cloud services originate.

  • Amazon Web Services currently has over 77 availability zones in over 24 geographical regions across the globe. They have also announced their plans to add more 18 availability zones and 6 more regions. The new regions to be added to their list include; India, Australia, Indonesia, Switzerland, Spain, and Japan

  • Microsoft Azure has 54 regions globally that are available in over 140 countries.

  • Google Cloud is currently available in about 24 regions with plans of adding more soon.

These availability zones are isolated so that a failure at one doesn’t affect the operations of a data center in another zone. A cloud computing platform that has more availability zones is more reliable than those with lesser zones. In this regard, AWS beats both Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

Services offered by each platform

Amazon Web Service beats Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure when it comes to the number of services offered. AWS currently has 200+ services, whereas Azure and Google Cloud offer 100+ and 60+ services respectively.

Some of the popular services offered at AWS include; Amazon Elastic compute cloud, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud Container Service, Amazon Relational Database Service, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Simple Storage Service, Amazon Elastic Block Store, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), and Elastic Load Balancer.

The popular services offered by Microsoft Azure include the following; Virtual Machines, App Services, and cloud services, Azure Functions, Azure Cosmos DB, SQL Database, Azure Archive Blob Storage, Blob storage, Virtual Networks (VNets), Azure DNS, Express Router, and many more.

Google cloud services include the following; Google Cloud Functions, Google computer engine, Google app engine, Google Cloud SQL, Google Cloud Bigtable, Google Cloud Datastore, Google Cloud Storage, Google cloud Nearline, Virtual Private Cloud, Google cloud load balancing, Google Cloud DNS, and many more.


Another key factor that anyone wanting to use these cloud services has to consider is the pricing. The table below shows the pricing details for each of these services.

Instance size Microsoft Azure(from $70 per month) Google Cloud (From $52 per month) AWS(From $69 per month)
Smaller instances For an instance with 8gB RAM, and 2VCPUs, the average charge for Azure is about $70 per month. For the same instance i.e. 2 vCPUs and 8GB RAM, Google Cloud charges $52 per month, which is the cheapest amongst all three. For the same instance features (2 vCPUs and 8GB RAM), AWS charges $69 per month, which is just $1 more less what Azure charges.
Larger instances When we consider the largest instance offered by Azure i.e., 128vCPUs and 3.89TB RAM, Microsoft Azure charges $6.79 per hour. The largest instance by Google cloud has 160 vCPUs and 3.75TB of RAM. For this instance, Google charges around $5.32 per hour. AWS’s larger instance comes with 3.85TB RAM and 128 vCPUs. This kind of instance will cost you $3.97 per hour.

Based on the table above, Google cloud offers the best deal for small instance users. On the other hand, AWS is the cheapest when it comes to the largest instances that each of these has to offer. When it comes to computing power, Google Cloud has more virtual CPUs if we consider the largest instance each of these three has to offer. This feature could be a big factor for cloud users who need this kind of computing.

Popular brands that use each of these cloud services

Amazon Web Services is used by more popular brands than Azure and Google Cloud. Some of the popular companies that use Amazon web services include; Netflix, Samsung, Twitch, Baidu, ESPN, Xiaomi, BMW, Airbnb, and many more.

Brands that use Microsoft Azure include; Wikipedia, MSI computer, LG Electronics, Verizon, Hp, AT&T, Fijifilms, and many more. Those that use Google cloud include; Snapchat, HTC, BestBuy, Coca-Cola, Spotify, Philips, etc. It should also be noted that some of these companies use services from more than one cloud computing platform. Some actually use all three platforms.

Final Thoughts

All these platforms have been in the cloud computing space for at least a decade, with AWS being the oldest. AWS was in the cloud space for over four years before Azure and Google cloud came into the picture. Amazon also offers way more services than all three. So, for anyone looking for a cloud platform that offers almost every cloud service you can think of, AWS is the ideal choice.

When it comes to reliability and security, all these platforms are pretty much at par, with AWS slightly ahead since they have more availability zones in more regions across the globe. All in all, AWS is the all-around cloud computing platform that we can easily recommend to anyone looking for reliable cloud computing services.

contact Agilecube if you are evaluating best infrastucture choice for your application modernization.