Dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion and tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion lead to chang­ing role of CIOs: Gart­ner

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With the swift growth in the tech­nol­ogy world, the na­ture of a chief in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer’s (CIO) job has changed. A sur­vey by Gart­ner has re­vealed that the CIO role is tran­si­tion­ing from be­ing a de­liv­ery ex­ec­u­tive to a busi­ness ex­ec­u­tive, mov­ing from con­trol­ling cost and en­gi­neer­ing pro­cesses to driv­ing rev­enue and ex­ploit­ing data.

The sur­vey, dubbed the 2018 Gart­ner CIO Agenda Sur­vey, con­ducted with a record num­ber of 3,160 CIO re­spon­dents across all ma­jor in­dus­tries in 98 coun­tries, high­lights that 95 per cent of CIOs ex­pect their jobs to change due to dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion. Re­spon­dents con­sider that world class IT de­liv­ery man­age­ment and dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion are the two big­gest trans­for­ma­tions in the CIO role, fol­lowed by as­sum­ing in­creased and broader re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and ca­pa­bil­i­ties. “The CIO’s role must grow and de­velop as dig­i­tal busi­ness spreads, and dis­rup­tive tech­nolo­gies, in­clud­ing in­tel­li­gent ma­chines and ad­vanced an­a­lyt­ics, reach the masses,” said Andy Rowsell-Jones, vice pres­i­dent and dis­tin­guished an­a­lyst at Gart­ner.

“While de­liv­ery is still a part of the job, much greater em­pha­sis is be­ing placed on at­tain­ing a far broader set of busi­ness ob­jec­tives,” Rowsell-Jones added.

The sur­vey shows that a ma­jor­ity of CIO re­spon­dents be­lieve that tech­nol­ogy trends such as cy­ber se­cu­rity and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence are set to sig­nif­i­cantly change their jobs in the near fu­ture. More­over, around 35 per cent of the to­tal re­spon­dents said that they have al­ready in­vested and de­ployed some as­pect of dig­i­tal se­cu­rity, while 36 per cent are plan­ning to im­ple­ment some form of dig­i­tal se­cu­rity.

De­spite the pos­i­tiv­ity to­wards the change in their role, Rowsell-Jones be­lieves that or­gan­i­sa­tional cul­ture could be a road­block to suc­cess.

“CIOs need to iden­tify the cul­tural be­hav­iours that cur­rently ex­ist and what the fu­ture vi­sion is. In do­ing so, they must recog­nise ex­ist­ing cul­tural strengths and po­si­tion cul­tural change as ‘the next chap­ter’, rather than a mas­sive over­haul, to re­spect em­ploy­ees’ con­tri­bu­tions and in­vite them to come along on the jour­ney,” said Rowsell-Jones.

At least 84 per cent of top CIOs sur­veyed have re­spon­si­bil­ity for ar­eas of the busi­ness out­side tra­di­tional IT. The ideal bal­ance, as per the re­sponses, is 56 per cent re­lated to busi­ness out­comes, such as rev­enue growth, busi­ness mar­gins and in­flu­enc­ing busi­ness strat­egy, and 44 per cent re­lated to IT de­liv­ery.

Re­spon­dents to the sur­vey were cat­e­gorised as top, typ­i­cal and trail­ing per­form­ers in dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion. Some CIOs favour a sep­a­rate dig­i­tal team to boost their en­ter­prise’s dig­i­tal busi­ness while oth­ers con­sider dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion part of their job.

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