Dr. Alexander Becker, COO of Serviceware: The Role of the CIO in Navigating Business Uncertainty in 2023 and Beyond

‘Uncertainty’ became the norm for many markets in 2022, and it looks like many of these challenges will remain in 2023. These include supply chain issues, the war in Ukraine, skills shortages, and the looming global recession. But amidst all this, the CIO has a pivotal role to play.

Whilst economic uncertainty may force organizations to scale back on digital investments, CIOs learned some important lessons during the pandemic – especially that many organizations are now more resilient and adaptable to disruption. CIOs are no longer judged by their ability to maintain functioning IT systems. Instead, they have become leaders in shaping and driving business innovation. This is confirmed by what Gartner has to say.

According to Gartner, boards of directors are set to face the following major challenges in 2023: potential recession, long-term economic uncertainty, and long-term inflationary pressure. To cope with these challenges, the CIOs will need to focus on three key areas.

Work, Investment & Cybersecurity: The Keys to a Sustainable Future

• Revolutionary work
Delivering business results by creating a tech-enabled brand.

• Responsible investment
Securing cost-effective solutions that will give a return on financial and environmental sustainability.

• Resilient cybersecurity
Protecting the intellectual property and data owned by the business.

These three areas will let CIOs create sustainable growth within the business through its IT capabilities. Notably, CIOs and boards of directors have different motivators to consider going into 2023, but it will be down to the CIO to ensure that their core objectives fit with the boardroom agenda.

For most businesses, the main objectives are becoming agile to weather the storm while cutting costs where possible. But the need for efficiency will need to be balanced with innovation. The COVID-19 pandemic powerfully illustrated the strength of this approach. We saw how those with agile structures and the ability to innovate were able to succeed in times of global struggle.

What Are the Expectations of CIOs in 2023?

Digital transformation is having a profound effect on how CIOs manage their IT organizations. Over the past few years, an uneven race unfolded between businesses.  The pandemic divided organisations into two camps: those who were already prepared for digital and remote working and those who weren’t. While those that fell behind tried to close this gap, resourceful CIOs were driving new innovations.

Now more than ever, robust IT infrastructures and technological innovations that unlock value are crucial for businesses. CIOs and IT executives should focus on digital investments that deliver repeatable financial and performance results in an efficient and responsible way.

According to Gartner, four out of five CEOs are increasing digital technology investments to counter current economic pressures, including inflation, scarce talent, and supply constraints. CIOs will need to govern and monitor their “business IT” in 2023, providing innovation to the end user. When control is lost, they run the risk of their infrastructure becoming “old IT” and will lose the influence once held.

CIOs will need to govern and monitor their “business IT” in 2023, providing innovation to the end user. When control is lost, they run the risk of their infrastructure becoming “old IT” and will lose the influence once held.

Dr. Alexander Becker
COO, Serviceware

Alexander Becker, Serviceware

Offering Transparency to Address Board Room Challenges

The only way to measure the outcomes is through fact-based decisions. For this, transparency is vital.

Ensuring businesses are aware of their overheads and what their customers want is key to any business — especially in times of financial difficulty. Cloud usage increased massively during the pandemic, thanks to the flexibility, scalability, and speed of deployment needed to pivot business operations.

Cloud solutions also offer a more sustainable system to those previously in place, allowing businesses to go that little bit further when it comes to their carbon footprint. However, as there is no one business holding a monopoly on this, the number of suppliers is growing, pushing the value of the product down. So, businesses will need to work harder to justify their investments as well as facing the likely prospect of doing more with less.

In 2023, CIOs should take into consideration all the challenges facing their industry right now and put their cards on the table. Ensuring transparency with both sales and management staff will enable a joint focus to make important business decisions. Along with this, they should expect increasing pressure to reduce costs and to even put long-term plans on hold. With businesses attempting to reduce costs in 2023, they should seek alternative cost management systems to ensure minimal disruption is felt within the business. 

Run, But Don’t Forget to Innovate

There is going to be the need for a lot of focus on transparency in 2023. CIOs and their peers will need to first understand the total cost of ownership and then discuss potential benefits and drawbacks. To make these two happen, businesses will have to embrace Tech Business Management (TBM) through Serviceware Digital Value Model.

Business leaders should also strive to create a clear understanding of their company’s Run vs. Innovate model. Based on our experience over the last year, most customers operate on the 80:20 model, aspiring to reach the 70:30 model (with the industry, the goal would be to reach the 60:40 model).


Dr. Alexander Becker
COO, Serviceware

Dr. Alexander Becker joined Serviceware as a Head of Corporate Strategy, and in 2016, he became Head of Professional Services of Serviceware. Since the IPO of Serviceware in 2018 Dr. Becker acts as Chief Operating Officer in the board of directors overseeing all consulting, implementation and service engagements with Serviceware Clients.