One of the greatest challenges that CIOs and fellow members of the C-suite face is the ability to move the business forward in a time of constant and disruptive change.

As markets continue to shift and customer expectations keep rising, CIOs play a critical role in enabling the organization to successfully adapt to these changes.

“As the economy slows, it’s going to become even more important for the business to become more efficient,” says Hugo Fueglein, Managing Director of the CIO/IT Practice at Diversified Search. “How effectively an IT organization can develop customer-facing products and services and improve internal processes will become ever more important. It’s not only an efficiency piece but how to better introduce subtle changes to products, services and how we do things.”

Fueglein is an advisory board member and will be speaking at HMG Strategy’s upcoming 2019 Philadelphia CIO Executive Leadership Summit taking place on September 18.

To help make those changes to processes, products and services, CIOs will also need to craft flexible and secure architectures to streamline the flow of data between systems while making it easier for the company to scale the business. “The cloud needs to be incorporated into any IT strategy going forward,” says Lawrence Bilker, EVP & CIO at Pyramid Healthcare and a chairperson for the Philadelphia summit. “The integration of applications makes it easy for information to be exchanged between applications.”

CIOs can also work with the executive team and line of business leaders to better understand how processes are currently executed and how technology can be applied for process improvements, notes Bilker. These efforts can be aided by the use of data that’s further enabled by AI and machine learning tools to help improve business processes, business intelligence and analytics, says Fueglein.

Meanwhile, one of the ways that CIOs can contribute to improving the customer experience is by providing the organization with a 360-degree view of customers, says Bilker. “This includes identifying those things that impact the customer and how easy or difficult it is for the customer to communicate with the company,” says Bilker. “These activities are more process than technology-oriented.”

CIOs can also enable customer-facing teams such as sales, marketing and customer service to analyze customer data to identify and address customer needs, says Fueglein.

Moreover, it’s essential for CIOs to build a diverse team that can offer different perspectives for addressing the customer experience. “The companies that are winning in today’s markets have CIOs that are building the right teams and fine-tuning things on an iterative basis because the world continues to change,” says Fueglein.

To learn more about the thought leadership that will be shared at the 2019 Philadelphia CIO Executive Leadership summit, click here.