The MIDMRKT CIO Forum is an opportunity for IT leaders to discuss the challenges and successes they’ve had in their current positions. One format that helps attendees build relationships and gain peer insights is the roundtable discussion, which happens on day one and day two of the Forum. Demonstrating the value of IT is among the topics being discussed this Fall.
To begin the conversation, let’s take a minute to review a few things midmarket organizations are doing to create value in their organizations.
As midmarket CIOs look to build credibility among the C-suite, they should begin by building solid business cases to demonstrate the value of IT. There are an infinite number of ways to illustrate value and progress. Here are just three ways to begin building trust among the leadership – selecting holistic solutions, looking for ways to increase revenue, and reducing risk with cybersecurity strategies.
Choose holistic IT solutions
Midmarket businesses don’t have the same margin of error as their larger counterparts, yet IT solutions must be completed on time and on budget. Adding to the pressure of creating and selling an IT solution to the C-suite is that such solutions must benefit the entire company rather than just one division.
Those enterprise-wide solutions should take into account today’s immediate problems and project potential issues. Evaluating technology solutions in the context of the entire business ensures that the solution you choose for your company will have long-term value.
Those in the C-suite think long-term, so IT personnel should follow suit in selling their solutions to the executives.
Increase revenue and profitability
Luckily, most in the C-suite are already sold on the idea of IT transformation. A recent survey found that 79% of them intend to increase IT spending over the coming year.
Company leadership is increasing their spending for good reason. According to the survey, 71% of the companies saw an increase in revenue as a direct result of their digital efforts over the previous year, and 74% percent of the executives also experienced an increase in profits.
Intellectually, the C-suite understands the business value of IT in general. The executives look to you to provide the foundation and the business case for your particular IT spending choices.
Cybersecurity ranks as the easiest IT business expenditure for a small to midmarket company to justify. Statistics show that in 2018 alone, 53% of midmarket companies experienced a cyberbreach. While 29% of them indicated the intrusion cost the company $100,000 or less, 20% spent between $1 million and $2.5 million to overcome the damage.
For many midmarket companies, even $100,000 could lead to layoffs and a decline in consumer confidence that would affect revenue and profitability.
Midmarket companies are at greater risk for a cybersecurity breaches in part because of less-stringent cybersecurity measures and because many smaller companies operate on interconnected systems. Although such connectivity is a boon to production, it allows malicious software to spread more easily throughout the company, leading to longer downtimes and greater losses.
Phishing and impersonation attacks top the charts for cybersecurity breaches of midmarket businesses. Phishing occurs when an email is sent throughout a company’s email system in the hope that at least one person will click on an internal link. Once the link is triggered, malware can spread throughout the entire system.
Impersonation attacks are a more sophisticated take on the age-old “I am a Prince. I will deposit half of my fortune into your bank account if you wire ‘X’ amount to me so I can escape my country.” In today’s world, a scammer impersonates a company’s CEO. Knowing that the CEO is traveling, the scammer emails someone with purchasing authority, asking him or her to send money to an account to cover an emergency. Because the email looks legitimate, many companies send the money only to find out later that the CEO never requested it.
When demonstrating the value of cybersecurity technologies to the C-suite, tell IT’s story about protecting the organization from threats.
As long as your midmarket business has an online presence of any sort, you should obtain C-suite buy-in regarding the business value of IT. Choose holistic IT solutions that will have a positive impact on various departments, make the solid business case for the increased revenue and profitability that will result from your suggested IT investment and keep cybersecurity foremost in your mind.
Join us for more discussion at the MIDMRKT CIO Forum on October 27th – 29th in Tucson, AZ!