In 2016, UK CIO priorities had seen a shift towards driving business innovation and leading change, while Chief Information Officers will see issues such as cybersecurity and building relationships as key issues to tackle in 2017.

The increase of robotics, AI and drones have become a focus for organisations, and as Chief Information Officers implement the latest technologies while driving business innovation CIOs need to be aware of the other priorities that will be expected of them in 2017.

CIO UK looks at three new priorities for Chief Information Officers in 2017 and how they can manage their demanding role. (See also: 4 CIO challenges for 2017)

CIO priorities in 2017: Balancing investments and innovation

Indeed, businesses today have seen a demand for their CIOs and maintaining the balance between making investments in IT and driving innovation.

However, looking ahead to 2017 organisations are focusing on using digital technologies as their core of their business strategies.

While CIOs are facing pressure from executives to roll out new technologies, organisations are increasing their budgets allocated to IT.

Maintaining a balance has been a concern for CIOs and digital leaders tackling investments and innovation, and Director of IT and eBusiness Mike Faiers has seen this issue as a challenge at BSH UK & Ireland.

“Realising the value of the existing IT architecture and eco-system against investing in innovation and new concepts,” he said.

“Increasingly organisations want to innovate, and demonstrate they can bring market new solutions and ideas, which take time, focus and resource.”

Faiers, has seen pressure on IT department, with the CIO seeing a new breed of digital natives playing an important role in shaping and delivering the IT strategy.

A Chief Information Officer’s role will see making investments and delivering innovation as two key challenges throughout their time as a CIO but will remain a priority for driving change in the competitive market in 2017.

CIO priorities in 2017: Ransomware

The term ransomware describes how hackers block access to business systems and encrypting their data until a sum of money is paid to regain access.

The number of ransomware attacks has increasingly grown with healthcare and financial industries being the most prone to incidents.

As businesses are increasing their security strategies through deploying ransomware protection tools such as HitmanPro.Alert, Zemana Anti-Malware and Malwarebyter Anti-Exploit a top concern for CIOs is to ensure company information is protected, reducing the risk of threats.

According to security firm Malwarebytes, 54% of businesses surveyed had been targeted by the ransomware. CIOs should implement a security programme which will perform regular back-ups and ongoing security checks to prevent the loss of personal data.

While implementing a security programme is vital for business, employee training is essential for ensuring they understand the value of security policies and practices being put in place. (See also: How to respond to ransomware threats)

CIO priorities in 2017: Building relationships with CISOs

A 2017 priority for a CIO will see their role building a relationship with their Chief Information Security Officer to help align a security and technology strategy.

While a CIO and CISO both possess business and leadership skills, they often rely on each other for advice and guidance within their roles.

In some organisations, while the reporting line is often unclear CISOs should collaborate with the CIO and develop a detailed plan.

According to a study by PwC, CISOs who report to the CIO have 14% more downtime due to security risks. Developing a plan which outlines budgets, reviews existing security policies and retaining security talent can help CIOs and CISOs formalise a successful security strategy.

Indeed, these priorities will be only some of the key issues CIOs are having to tackle in 2017 with digital teams and executives having to support their CIO to drive change. 

Read next: Security challenges for CIOs in 2017)