The Role Of The CIO Is Changing: From Supplier To Business Advisor.

The Role Of The CIO Is Changing: From Supplier To Business Advisor.

business strategy: We have been talking about the changing role of IT in companies for a long time. But do the leaders of these departments see the need for change? According to the results of the research carried out by the consulting company Deloitte, 64% of IT managers want to participate in the creation of their company’s business strategy.

This is the third edition of the global CIO Survey 2018. Looking to the Future: Beyond the Digital Era. It was conducted in 71 countries, including the USA. A total of 1,437 people took part in it, and 78% of the respondents were managers and IT directors.

Research shows that CIOs are redefining their role in organizations. From service providers, they turn into business partners, initiators of change.

The time when the head of IT followed the business and the technology served as a servant is running out. Companies and their IT leaders who are successful today are organizations in which technology is the basis of business operations, the engine of change, development, and revenue generation – says Daniel Martyniuk, partner, technology consulting leader at Deloitte.

Currently, 36% of CIOs globally surveyed define their role as business partners, and 9% are initiators of changes. It should be expected that this result will grow in the next few years because 64% and 16% of the respondents, respectively, declared that their role would shift in these directions. Although more than half of CIOs (55%) identify themselves as service providers, it should be assumed that this percentage will decrease.

Strategy, operations, competences

Changes in the IT role will take place at the strategic, operational, and competency levels.

The most important expectations for IT directors are: adjusting to the business strategy (59% in USA, 55% on a global scale), transforming processes (35% and 51% respectively), and ensuring IT operational efficiency (41% and 48% respectively).

As many as 83% of American CIOs declare that their companies have a clearly defined digital strategy, if not in the entire organization, then in key areas. For comparison, such an answer was given by 58% of respondents worldwide. Most American respondents indicated customers (65%) and innovation (41%) as the business priority of their organization. Importantly, legal regulations are much more important in the USA than in the world (35% compared to 15%). Globally, the key target is efficiency (55%), while in the USA, it was indicated by 35% of respondents.

IT directors were also asked which of the technology areas will have the greatest impact on business in the next three years. In the USA, data analysis (71%) and digitization and cybersecurity (57% each) were on the podium.

One-fourth of American CIOs perceive their companies as innovative and trigger changes. For comparison, in the world, it was 13%. In turn, 38% of their organizations are so-called precursors who are opinion leaders who follow innovators.

Only 10% of the surveyed organizations (25% from USA) represent the digital avant-garde. Of these, 78% ensure that their current technology architecture is able to meet all business needs, while 54% of the entire surveyed group emphasizes the importance of cybersecurity, central systems, and cloud solutions. The digital avant-garde is a leader in combining technology with digital business strategy. They are characterized by much stronger (compared to other organizations) relations with the business areas responsible for the development of new products.

The creative IT environment attracts employees.

In the USA, the main business expectations towards the IT department are the maximization of the return on the value of technological investments as well as the optimization and maintenance of IT environments (41% each). This is 13% more than the global figure. Almost half of the surveyed IT directors (47%) from the USA believe that the implementation of Agile and DevOps tools and methods (combining the Dev software development team with the Ops operations team) will allow for a better adjustment of technology and business in the organization. American respondents, however, are less convinced that the implementation of employee rotation between IT and business is necessary to match these areas in the organization better.

Subsequent editions of the survey show that IT directors see a growing need to expand their competencies with soft skills necessary for cooperation with business. Creativity, cognitive flexibility, and emotional intelligence are the most desirable competencies in this area in recruiting IT staff.

On a global scale, providing IT employees with new skills and tools training seems to be a greater challenge than in the USA (53% vs. 29% of responses). On the other hand, the results indicate that it is much more difficult to maintain the current team on the American market than in the world (41% vs. 24% of responses).

The three most important aspects of organizational culture that help attract and retain IT talent are: the ability to work with new technologies (76%), flexible working hours (47%), and a creative, inspiring environment (47%).

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