5 New Year's Resolutions CIOs Should Make for 2019

Here at the beginning of the year, it's easy to poke fun at resolutions — like when you see the onslaught of newbies at your local gym. But there is something about this time of year that makes people want to become better versions of themselves over the next 12 months.

CIO contemplates how 2019 technology trends can be part of the company's New Year's resolutions
As they empower employees to create collaboration opportunities, these 2019 technology trends can be effective parts of your New Year's resolutions.

However, some New Year's resolutions tend to be too vague or predictable to make a meaningful difference in our personal or professional lives. So instead of resolving to be a better leader in your CIO role or to be more organized, take a look at the 2019 technology trends and consider adding these five tangible New Year's resolutions to your list.

1. Focus on Enabling Marketing Success

You will only have a job as a CIO if your company makes money, so deploying effective marketing is key. The most sophisticated and successful marketing tactics these days are supported by technology that uses data analytics, automation, and even augmented or virtual reality.

Yet no matter how brilliant your marketing department is, it likely does not have the skill set to do everything on its own. By bringing ideas to the marketing department about how it uses technology to learn more about customers and create the next level of customer experience, you can help your entire company win.

2. Support Modern Business Collaboration

This year, make sure you're maximizing the collaborative benefits of your company's communications system. Follow this with a to-do list that includes adding video conferencing, call recording, visual voicemail, and many other features to your company's communications system. Also, train your colleagues on how to use all of these powerful communication tools so they can work even more effectively in the new year.

To boost business collaboration and productivity even further, integrate your communications system with business applications such as an office productivity suite or CRM. You'll help your colleagues work smarter, improve the customer experience you provide, and get a better ROI from your overall technology investment in the process.

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3. Tap the Game-Changing Benefits of APIs

Your business has ambitious goals for 2019, and application program interfaces (APIs) can make the difference in achieving them. From providing chat apps for real-time customer service to enabling SMS communication features that keep your customers informed when they're on the go, APIs can help your business quickly acquire best-in-class technology capabilities and cost-effectively scale them on demand for future growth.

CIOs are already tapping APIs to streamline the recruitment process for HR, to allow healthcare organizations to send out timely patient alerts, and to help travel agencies streamline itinerary changes for their customers. Some technology leaders are even capitalizing on APIs to pursue entirely new business models and enjoy a faster time to market. For these reasons and more, APIs are one of the hottest 2019 technology trends you should consider including in your New Year's resolutions.

By taking the time to develop actionable New Year's resolutions that will truly make a difference for your company, you can improve both your standing in your company and your company's standing in the market.

4. Reduce Silos and Create Cross-Functional Teams

Your IT department used to be isolated from other departments, and back then, people mainly cared about IT only when something didn't work. These days, however, nearly every business function includes IT, as everything your department does affects others in the company. It often only takes one C-level employee to change the mindset of a whole company, which will likely dramatically affect customer satisfaction, productivity, and the quality of your products and services.

When your team has meetings, start inviting other departments whose skills can improve your projects. On the flip side, strongly encourage other departments to include IT in their projects from the beginning — not as an afterthought. It often only takes a project or two for everyone to realize the benefits of having cross-functional teams from kickoff to launch to make a permanent change.

5. Empower Employees to Work on the Go

When your customers take the time to contact you, they assume your employees have the technology to respond right away. Companies that delay responding to potential customers and assisting current customers can end up losing business to others that have quicker response rates by letting their employees work on the go. By providing technology that lets your employees answer emails and phone calls from whatever location works for them, even using a convenient mobile app, you'll make your employees and your customers happier.

That's the essence of unified communications, which allow employees to send SMS messages, write emails, join video or audio conferences, or make phone calls from whatever device they happen to be working on. Because employees often log in after hours, you can increase productivity with virtual desktops that give them the exact same tools that they have at work. Team members can use mobile devices to perform the same functions, regardless of whether they're in a motel in South Dakota before a business meeting or waiting for their bus to weave its way through rush-hour traffic.

By taking the time to develop actionable New Year's resolutions that will truly make a difference for your company, you can improve both your standing in your company and your company's standing in the market.

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