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Digital transformation – challenges and solutions for CTO’s

By Dominik Birgelen, CEO at oneclick

It has recently been reported that at least70% of companies have either achieved digital transformation or are currently leading towards implementation. For the role of a modern CTO in the finance industry, this is having a significant impact on the day-to-day. With the speed at which business technologies continue to evolve, CTO’s are needing to be more adaptable than ever. Additionally, this responsibility comes with ensuring staff are kept continuously updated of new software and technology, with a professional level of understanding as well as assuring security solutions are up to date. However, to successfully execute this role, the CTO must maintain one step ahead of the business as a whole, which can be a highly-pressured role. Relieving this will mean, the modern CTO should also be equipped with the right technologies that can support their role and resolve issues that may occur.

The role of a CTO is a diverse one. Each industry can present its own specific challenges to the role. Specifically, when working within the finance industry, the CTO needs to manage legacy applications that are integrated with business processes, multi and hybrid cloud adoption, authentication, cybersecurity, data protection and compliance, as well as apply safe and secure modern user interface. However, with assistant cloud solutions, the CTO will be able to manage responsibilities with greater ease and efficiency.

Digital transformation is becoming a prioritised investment for companies, affecting the majority of internal departments. By 2022, spending on digital transformation is expected to hit $7.4 trillion. However, it is becoming an alarming occurrence that companies spending on this transformation are not investing in the appropriate training to execute the implementation. In fact, 42% of employees think their businesses do not integrate data and processes across departments well. Resolving this and keeping percentages low, requires an efficient leader – someone to carry the implementation of new technology. The CTO must establish a clear, well-structured plan to assure the process is completed with ease and staff have a satisfied level of understanding. Without this, the rest of the workplace will struggle to adapt to the new equipment or software being introduced, essentially reducing productivity in the workplace.

Although technology is of great importance to the CTO, it is crucial to keep staff as a top priority. The introduction of new technology can usually lead employees to assume their positions are being put at risk, with the fear of being replaced. However, this is not the case. Digital transformation is intended to accelerate productivity and improve workplace satisfaction for the team and the CTO themselves.

In regard to digital transformation, helpful support tools are in sight. By implementing an Everything-as-a-service (XaaS) cloud platform, the modern CTO will experience a reduction in workload through using the innovative tool. Meaning more attention can be applied to different aspects of the business. Introducing XaaS to the workplace enables CTO’s to ensure they’re delivering innovative technology to their employees, whilst being cost-conscious. XaaS leverages the abstractions that SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS offer by enabling orchestration of local and cloud infrastructure, delivery of applications and data, and secure availability from anywhere. However, due to its ambitious implementation, Everything-as-a-Service has only recently come to light for many business owners and IT Managers. But, as the role of the CTO becomes more complex and demanding, it is something that needs to be explored in order to continue fulfil the role successfully.

Additionally, with 68% of business leaders feeling their cybersecurity risks are increasing in 2020, businesses cyber security protection is increasingly becoming a part of the modern CTO’s portfolio, especially within the finance industry. Meaning the responsibility ultimately falls on the CTO to ensure that security solutions are up to date and the workplace is protected from any potential cyber threat. However, by acquiring a cloud service platform, the platform itself will be able to flag any potential attacks and resolve this before it has even come to the attention of the company or the end user. In addition, if staff work within and around a single cloud platform, security can be guaranteed outside the office walls. As cloud computing centralises the management of infrastructure, applications and data, this also means cloud security is centralised. Cloud-based business networks consist of numerous data centres, external locations, mobile users, devices and endpoints, which will all be under the same security solution in the cloud. This in turn can benefit from a central service organization control (SOC) so that the CTO will have less pressure to maintain security systems.

Furthermore, being a CTO within the finance sector, there are additional national and international challenges that need to be tackled within the role. If we look at Switzerland, for example, banks as well as other institutions, are being bound to professional secrecy and are obliged to keep their data locally. This challenge can be addressed with highly-encrypted streaming so that remote users have mobile access but data never leaves the secure hosting location. In this case, the XaaS platform enables the automated deployment of new virtual machines, for example, in the new Microsoft Switzerland data centre. Streaming in the browser means that no end device can infect a corporate network or an application server with malware, because direct communication between the user and the target system can be completely ruled out.

There is no doubt that, as the workplace has digitally evolved, the expectations of the CTO in the financial industry have grown alongside it. However, in order to meet these increasing expectations and execute them successfully, it is helpful to acquire a supporting cloud platform for XaaS. With this in place, the CTO can focus on growing a stable and adaptable team, allowing them to embrace the technical advances that have been put in place to assist them in their roles. Everyday data technicalities can be organised safely and efficiently. Additionally, with cybercrime becoming one of the largest threats to modern day businesses, it is a new reliance on the CTO that is understandably becoming a high priority. With adopting a XaaS cloud solution, the CTO can be assured that the corporate network as well as streamed applications and data are protected from any malicious attacks. Having this security and assistance, the CTO will be able to dedicate equal time to each aspect of the business, which will inevitably benefit the workplace and as whole.