For CIOs Looking to Improve Digital Workplaces in 2016, These 3 Issues Come First

2016 looks to be the year of the Chief Information Officer - or maybe it will just be the year your CIO finally throws in the towel. That's up to them.

Businesses demand "digital workplaces" now, which are ostensibly virtual versions of their physical operations. In its definition, Gartner includes increased attention toward "a more consumer-like computing environment," perhaps hinting at a need to defang enterprise IT so it plays better with others.

As the rate of innovation accelerates, CIOs and their IT departments struggle to catch up. Even with automation taking work off their plate, enterprise IT professionals have had to answer the call of bimodal IT principles - or equal operational appreciation for stability as well as agility - adopted by industry leaders, thereby effectively doubling their workload and their risk, all while under the clock. No wonder a TINYpulse job satisfaction survey showed only a quarter of IT professionals would grade their employers' support highly.

But CIOs can advocate on their behalf and turn it all around by knocking out some serious obstacles in the way of creating an ideal digital workplace everyone can enjoy. Here are a few of your CIOs biggest challenges in 2016, along with IT service management solutions that can help them vanquish these problems.

Dark Data
Whisper "dark data" in the ears of the average person and it will likely elicit little response. Utter it to CIOs and they're bound to get a shiver or three.

Dark data pertains to all the information businesses collect which doesn't then fuel actionable business intelligence. This happens for a number of different reasons, the most prevalent being the rate of data gathering far exceeds a business's ability to analyze it all. An international Veritas study revealed dark data consumes more than half of enterprise storage environments, costing an estimated $891 billion globally in unnecessary costs.

CIOs should be on the lookout for techniques for shining a light on its dark data. ITSM suites with machine learning, for example, transform tickets into viable resolution resources for the help desk and service desk alike. More intelligent service management offerings like this one can turn dark data into enterprise IT's most valuable resource with nearly no change to operations.

Mobility
When businesses go mobile, they do more than blow their budgets on smartphones and tablets - at least, hopefully.

CIOs understand a digital workplace is nothing without mobility and its power to remove efficiency gaps in data access and communication. Unfortunately, issues with securing an ever-widening network of connected enterprise devices can potentially stall enterprise mobility plans - in 2012, an Information Security Media Group study revealed 6 out of 10 enterprise technology decision-makers named "security" as the biggest hindrance to mobile adoption.

However, a mobility initiative spearheaded by IT service management professionals may demonstrate the value in pushing through the uncertainty. IT technicians armed with a fleet of mobile devices answer tickets quickly and without having to return to a desktop terminal between requests. Mobile ITSM also presents users - customers and coworkers alike - with another channel through which to communicate with IT. For internal processes in particular, mobile can prevent employees from hounding technicians in person when they're on a tight deadline, a huge time-waster for everyone involved.

Employee Engagement 2.0
Not even a digital workplace can escape the troubles of employee dissatisfaction, mainly because they carry over from the analog days. An estimate from Bersin by Deloitte found businesses invest more than $700 million annually in employee engagement alone, onboarding technology and programs designed to define it, track it, analyze it and rectify it if it drops for whatever reason.

But that paradigm might be part of the problem - Gallup shows less than one-third of US employees are engaged at work, and those numbers are the best they've been since Gallup started polling engagement in 2000.

CIOs must make a concerted effort to finally tackle what exactly engages their unique businesses and how to avoid contaminating the new digital workplace with the same productivity-killing pathogens. As an adaptive technology, intelligent ITSM works alongside enterprise IT while their operations undergo an incredible scaling-up process already underway.

As IT takes up more space within a given business, service managers and the users they're charged with overseeing require more than just safety nets to feel engaged. They need solutions that prevent the same problems from happening again and again. Intelligent service management with machine learning brings a new era of highly responsive automation from help/service desk self-service to regression testing and CMDBs, all the way down through cutting-edge change and release management strategies that keep IT chugging along strong.

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