The changing role of CIOs in 2017

28 October 2016

2 min read

The role of the CIO is a varied one, but what should we expect from them in 2017, and how much control should they have over businesses?

The changing role of CIOs in 2017 (Desktop)

Strategic leadership

Nearly 40% of CIOs report that they are leaders of digital transformation in their enterprise. With 34% being the innovation leaders. CIOs are expected to lead digital transformation, specifically in managing delivery, managing talent and executing effective leadership.

CIOs are taking a biomodal approach creating two modes of IT, one which continuously builds and refactors capabilities for the future and the other which sees exploratory and innovation divisions splitting off from the established business. A key example of this in recent years is Google’s Alphabet.

"CIOs who aren’t yet ready to take a strategic leadership role ranked lower in terms of digital performance."

According to the Gartner CIO Agency Insights survey, the biomodal approach has been adopted by nearly 40% of respondents, with the majority of the remainder planning to switch within three years. Research shows that this approach significantly improves digital performance. Those CIOs who aren’t yet ready to take a strategic leadership role ranked lower in terms of digital performance. It's a common problem across many businesses, with CIOs feeling constrained by budgets and deadlines,  and therefore focusing on what’s easy instead of what’s most effective.

Despite this, many CIOs are beginning to lead the digitisation of many business processes and truly owning them. For many, this is a chance to drive efficiency, push cost savings and improve margins. This, in part, has led to the rise of service models.

Service models allow them to meet their strategic objectives by taking away the need for constant, seemingly endless management and free their time up to innovate and change the way the business works. When asked whether they’d like to devote their time to organising endless upgrades, desk moves and ongoing maintenance requests or put it into innovation and strategic leadership, most CIOs will give you the same answer.

Investing in the future

CIOs expect digital revenues to grow from 16% to 37%. Similarly, public-sector CIOs predict a rise from 42% to 77% in digital processes.

“New business models are disrupting the industry. Is that a business problem or a technology problem?”

The Deloitte CIO survey 2016 produced some interesting stats about which technologies CIOs thought would have significant business impact over the next two years:

  • Analytics – 77%
  • Digital – 75%
  • Cloud – 64%
  • Cyber – 58%
  • Core – 47%
  • Emerging tech – 28%

The surveyed CIOs also say that their strengths lie in their ability to lead in fast, complex environments (54%), their technology vision and leadership (51%) and their ability to influence stakeholders (50%). Combined, these are exactly the strengths that will be required to meet the role that is increasingly expected of them: a strong leader with the vision to introduce tech and persuasive enough to make sure it goes into the business.

“New business models are disrupting the industry. Is that a business problem or a technology problem?” asked one CIO in the banking and financial markets in Singapore - highlighting exactly why the CIO is a key figure in business innovation. In addition, the Gartner CIO Insights survey recognises that in order to stay responsive to the threat and opportunity of disruption, taking a platform approach throughout their business can be can be key:

“For CIOs, ‘platformizing’ their approach to delivery, talent and leadership presents an enormous opportunity to orchestrate these layers of the business, create value for their enterprise and become a key digital leader.”Gartner

Want to put strategy first? Discover more about how you can streamline your IT offering here.  Alternatively, check out the other helpful articles on BusinessNow.

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