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


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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