The role of a CIO has undergone a sea change from the role of a Delivery Executive to a Business Executive. Innovation and digital transformation are taking precedence and are now the top priorities for CIOs outside their conventional roles.
Nearly 95% of CIOs surveyed by Gartner expect their jobs to change due to digitization. Here’s how their role is changing:
- CIOs need to come out of the mindset where they are just IT-outcome focused and adopt an approach which is more business-outcome focused.
- CIOs can no longer afford to perceive risk to the organization from an IT perspective alone. They will have to factor in risks associated with the business in making any decisions at their end.
- The role of a CIO can no longer be restricted to order-taking. Modern CIOs will have to find ways to perform collaborative agenda-setting.
- From just supporting change to compelling change, CIOs need to take ownership instead of just being passive observers.
- The changing role of the CIO demands that they switch hats from being just the cost controllers and focus a lot on revenue-building as well.
- A CIO now should leverage data to their advantage instead of just enabling process re-engineering steps.
- CIOs need to expand their territory from within IT to everywhere.
“CIOs must start scaling their digital business and changing their own jobs with it now,” noted Gartner Vice President Andrew Rowsell-Jones.
#1. Evolving CIO Priorities
Following were some of the top priorities for CIOs in the coming years based on the responses collected against the question: “Thinking about your organization (as a whole), what would you say are its top business objectives for the next two years?”.
This clearly shows that achieving growth has now emerged as the #1 priority of CIOs today.
#2. Top Focused Technology
Which technology area do you think is the most important in helping your business differentiate and win/to achieving your organization’s mission?
As per the respondents to this survey, technologies that can help companies gain a differentiation and get an edge over competition include:
- Cloud services
- Data center
With rising cybersecurity concerns, bolstering digital security has become another concern area for CIOs, something that they can’t ignore anymore. In fact,
Indian companies lost $500,000 to cyberattacks in 1.5 years, as per CISCO.
Having said that, CIOs must also look to prioritize their responsibilities more efficiently.
Paul Proctor, Gartner vice president, says CIOs can’t protect their organisations from everything, so they need to create a sustainable set of controls that balances their need to protect their business with their need to run it.
“Taking a risk-based approach is imperative to set a target level of cybersecurity readiness. Raising budget alone does not create an improved risk posture,” he adds.
The fundamental shift in the role of the CIO is a business necessity rather than a compulsion. The survey findings are clear that CIOs are well-aware of the changes happening around them. CIOs not adapting to the need of the hour will find it difficult to sustain in these competitive times.
Note: The report is prepared from Gartner’s annual survey of senior IT Executives around the world to understand their strategic vision and unravel their technical and business priorities. This year’s survey went into analysing responses from 3160 CIOs across 98 countries.