Consult any published list of concerns, challenges, and/or priorities for CIOs in 2022, and certain themes emerge quickly and repeatedly. While these may be broken down further into any number of categories and some may even be overlapping, there are three central areas of focus that all association CIOs should be prioritizing today:

People– The competition for tech talent is fierce; and once individuals are on staff, CIOs need to be cognizant of a number of factors with team members., How do their cumulative skill sets match up with business needs for the association? Are there opportunities for reskilling or upskilling? Top tech talent want to gain experience with the latest tools, and they want to work where their knowledge and skills are easily transferable should they leave the organization. CIOs should also focus on burnout issues, particularly as the demands on IT have been intense over the past two years. Association technologists are not immune to the effects of The Great Resignation, and should look to provide an environment where team members participate in cross-training exercises regularly, have ease-of-use experiences with technology instead of frustrations, and don’t get bogged down with manual processes.

Hybrid Work Environments– Closely related to the focus on people is where work gets done. Teams and associations have been stretched by both remote and hybrid work environments, and the need for well-designed architecture has never been greater. Under these conditions, cloud-based tools like what Fonteva and Protech provide because of their respective Salesforce and Microsoft platforms have proven to be advantageous for associations. Additionally, the demands for better and more advanced collaboration and communications tools will continue to rise as some earlier trends with hybrid and remote work environments become standard operating procedure for many associations moving forward.

Security– Cyberattacks are expected to increase in both volume and sophistication in the years ahead. CIOs need to weigh the competing concerns of comprehensive security measures and their budgetary limitations. Ongoing monitoring for suspicious activity and looking for ways to continue to improve the security of devices and systems will be key. Specifically, ransomware will be a major issue for organizations. CIOs should be prepared to communicate to and educate executives regarding risks, risk management, and the potential costs of not prioritizing cybersecurity or following certain standards in these areas. Salesforce has made security a hallmark of its platform with tools, training, and multi-factor authentication (MFA). In September 2021 Microsoft announced that it was quadrupling its investment in cybersecurity over the next five years to $20 billion.

To learn more about these areas and other related topics, please watch the “Salesforce & Microsoft: Why Platform Solutions are the Future for Association Technology” webinar. Teri Carden of ReviewMyAMS gets the inside scoop from Jake Fabbri of Togetherwork and Dirk Behrends of Fonteva & Protech to find out what the union of Fonteva and Protech means for associations and technology.

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