CIOs: Taking Your Teams From Change Managers to Change Agents

For today’s CIO, change is the name of the game.

The old CIO playbook focused mainly on managing the technical stack and IT processes and launching new systems and technology. Then the pandemic came and exploded the way we work. 

Suddenly entire workforces needed smooth and secure access from anywhere, and IT teams were expected to deliver. It hasn’t quieted down since. Projected timelines for cloud migrations before 2020 hovered at 1.5 years. That was shortened to an average of 23 days post-pandemic. Twenty-three days! 

What was already a complex environment with not enough resources to manage is now further complicated and more demanding. Problems continue to grow in scope and depth, from complex SaaS infrastructures to managing thousands of applications across a dynamic workforce and the seemingly never-ending challenge of shadow IT. The view from the CIO desk has also expanded, with new mandates spanning the organization. 

Related content: Read our CIO's Guide to Identity-Driven Optimization.

Here are some of those expectations broken down:

  • Your CEO expects you to: reduce risk across the tech stack, innovate towards a competitive edge, provide data-proven ROI, and develop efficiencies that enable and transform the entire operation. 
  • Your IT team(s) expect: the automation of manual processes, opportunities for growth, empowerment, and efficient, productive work
  • Workforce employees expect: freedom of choice and enablement, support and partnership with IT, and the latest in technical optimization

But what does it all mean for you and your teams?

The good news: No organization, whether a 132-year-old brick-and-mortar company or a disruptive, cloud-native startup, can escape these problems. We are all in this together.

The even better news: By harnessing the power of a modern, unified identity solution, savvy CIOs are gaining a competitive advantage and broadening their and their team’s influence—all in a way that transforms the whole of their business: They’re empowering their IT teams to be more productive and simplifying IT management through the unifying power of Okta Workforce Identity.

Workforce Identity breaks down identity silos and brings the tech stack together in a unified management plane, streamlining IT operations to the point that these teams can run better, faster, and more efficiently. 



Here are a few more considerations as we look ahead:

A modern approach to Workforce Identity allows for quick deployment and adoption of cloud technology, coupled with seamless experiences with legacy systems. In terms of cloud investment, this allows for an unprecedented speed of employee adoption. The downstream effects of this fast-track enablement are a differentiating factor, boosting gains in collaboration and innovation at every level. 

The old-school IT team was the watchdog, the blocker, the team of no. They toiled in manual processes, onboarding and offboarding employees while tech debt grew, even if their team could not. 

Helping your team tackle the hard stuff

Today’s top CIOs have flipped this scene completely. Their IT teams use automation for identity-based processes for things such as joiner/mover/leaver provisioning and deprovisioning, making Day-1 access and secure offboarding the job of entry-level admins, and much more. That means your team can focus on solving more interesting problems, resolving tech debt, and innovating towards excellence. They can partner with different business units, enabling options in technologies that move their organization forward—not wasting time and talent on repetitive tasks like password resets and account recovery.

According to a 2021 Adobe Workfront report, 49% of U.S. workers answered that frustration over obsolete or dysfunctional workplace technology could be grounds for leaving a company. The key takeaway? In the race to retain top talent, workplace experience has become almost on par with customer satisfaction. 

Workers expect to work from anywhere at any time, with frictionless access. They want an IT team that says yes to BYOD requests and collaboration tools without being hampered by security roadblocks.

Now your teams can: 

Solving for business impact

We touched on CEO expectations above. They want the metrics of ROI, reduced TTV, and a tech posture that is secure, nimble, and modern. The most successful CIOs are going one step further and showing how identity and security, solved together with a single platform, can transform the business from top to bottom. 

The receipts are in:

  • Consolidate siloed identity stores: a unified single identity solution provides the connective tissue across the technology stack, bringing it all together in a single management console that drives operational efficiency.
  • Reduce implementation cycles: answer the “how many cycles…?” question with certainty and brevity using APIs and SDKs.
  • Yes, we can use that: Neutral platforms like Okta ensure that your current stack can easily integrate with your preferred tools and resources. This allows you to focus on adopting best-of-breed tools that empower your people and teams to be highly productive, stay competitive and reduce risk across the organization.  

Want more? You’ll find it in our CIO's Guide to Identity-Driven Optimization.