- The roster of workplace tools expanded rapidly in the pandemic aftermath, according to Cindy Taibi, SVP and CIO at The New York Times, speaking Oct. 18 at the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo in Orlando, Florida.
- The media company added dedicated resources to manage and enhance worker experience with applications, including what apps employees were using.
- "We set up a whole new team, called enterprise productivity, and this is their job: to run a SaaS review board, to be out there and help people find the tools they use, make sure they're secure, to support them."
Consider the difficulty hike on performing CIO duties pre- and post-pandemic. Previously, an average organization had its workers — mostly — under one roof, where executives could provide, support and secure access to technology in a controlled environment.
Now, where work takes place has expanded to countless locations, and the number of tools scaled as workers tried to hang onto the tools that got them through the early shift to remote.
SaaS tools' ease of deployment accelerated this trend, with more than one-third of employees saying they've purchased mobile-specific apps without IT approval, one survey found. But the lack of visibility and security are only part of the problem. An overload of apps can also lead to silos and wasted time as workers cycle through apps all day long.
Still, work needs to get done — and despite CIOs expanded role in business strategy it is still their job to support daily operations.
"It's very difficult to tell people 'you can't use this tool but I don't have something for you,'" said Taibi.
In response, Taibi shifted her approach to tool provisioning, from a focus on consolidation and centralization, to offering a curated set of supportive tools.
The company recently selected a SaaS management platform and is working to extend visibility into usage, costs and features available for workers.
"I hope that's going to be really transformational for my team," said Taibi.