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Gartner survey: the CIO role ‘remixed’

George Nott | Oct. 9, 2017
Implementing AI, security and IoT considered 'problematic'.

Credit: CIO Australia

Nearly all chief information officers (95 per cent) expect their jobs to change or be 'remixed' as a result of the digitalisation of their businesses, according to a Gartner survey of 3,160 CIOs globally. 

While responsibility for IT delivery management remained a given, it will soon take up less and less of the CIO's time, Gartner forecasts.

Respondents believe the two biggest transformations in the CIO role will be becoming a change leader, followed by assuming increased and broader responsibilities and capabilities.

Inevitably, the job of CIO will extend beyond the traditional delivery roles to other areas of the business, such as innovation management and talent development, Gartner said.

"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," he added.

At least 84 percent of top CIOs surveyed have responsibility for areas of the business outside traditional IT, the most common being innovation and transformation.

The survey also found that CIOs are spending more time on the business executive elements of their jobs compared with three years ago. Those working at top performing organisations are spending up to four days more each month on executive leadership. The more mature an enterprise's digital business is, the more likely the CIO will report to the CEO.

When asked about their success criteria, CIOs at top-performing organisations reported that they are already close to their ideal average split of performance metrics: 56 per cent related to business outcomes versus 44 per cent related to IT delivery.

"The effects of digitalisation are profound. The impact on the job of CIO and on the IT organisation itself should not be underestimated," said Rowsell-Jones.

"In this new world, CIO success is not based on what they build, but the services that they integrate. The IT organisation will move from manufacturer to buyer, and the CIO will become an expert orchestrator of services. The real finding though is that this is happening now, today. CIOs must start scaling their digital business and changing their own jobs with it now."


Problem tech

Artificial intelligence, digital security and the internet of things are considered the 'most problematic' technologies facing chief information officers.

The survey respondents agreed that the most common pain point when rolling-out such technologies was the demand for new skills, which were not always readily available.

Respondents were asked to name the top differentiating technologies. Business intelligence and analytics still retain the top spot on the list, with top performers most likely to consider them strategic.


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