57 percent of chief information officers (CIO) are choosing customers as their top priority against 45 percent last year, according to Deloitte’s 2016-2017 Global CIO Survey.
Customer has remained the top priority for eight of the 10 industries represented in the CIO survey.
45 percent of CIOs said their information technology organization is involved in delivering customer experience through IT capabilities. 28 percent of CIOs feel their IT organizations are below average in their digital skill sets.
Three-quarters of CIOs say aligning IT to business strategy and performance goals is the top IT capability essential to success.
CIOs chose strategic alignment as the top IT capability essential to their successes, followed by execution of technology projects coming in second at 55 percent, and vision and strategy third (nearly 50 percent).
There is substantial gaps exist between business expectations and IT capabilities, in key areas including innovation and cybersecurity. 57 percent of CIOs report that the business expects them to assist in business innovation and developing new products and services, but over half state that innovation and disruption priorities currently do not exist or are in the process of being built. 61 percent identify cybersecurity as a core expectation, but 10 percent of CIOs report cybersecurity and IT risk management are a top business priority.
“CIOs create value by delivering capabilities that are in tune with business priorities. Rapidly shifting business priorities mean that CIOs can’t afford to just react to business needs; they need to develop the business acumen to anticipate and pre-empt future business needs,” said Khalid Kark, managing director, Deloitte, and director of research for Deloitte’s CIO Program.
There are significant gaps between how CIOs perceive they are delivering value to the business and the business’s stated priorities and expectations.
In addition to the reported gaps in innovation, disruption and cyber security, other gaps between business priorities and IT capabilities center on components the market considers core to “digital” —specifically, customer focus and technology-enabled business growth:
70 percent of surveyed CIOs said they are expected to lower cost of operations while improving service levels to drive business performance, but only 27 percent of CIOs identified delivering complex technology projects as an important skill.
67 percent of CIOs reported that the business leaders expect them to reduce IT costs and drive efficiency, while 66 percent stated they are also expected to maintain the same or better availability and performance of IT systems.
47 percent of CIOs recognized IT capabilities around disruption and innovation as essential to their success, but 52 percent said these capabilities does not exist or is currently being built, while only 21 percent chose ‘understanding of markets and disruptive business forces’ as a current strength.
“Timely and effective access to data is no longer about IT – it is central to the business agenda,” said Vittorio Cretella, CIO of Mars Inc. “As a result, CIOs need to be strategic co-pilots, shaping business plans alongside their peers to ensure success.”
CIO personalities are fairly similar. 75 percent of CIOs share the top seven CIO personality traits / working styles.
These include adapting easily to new environments (90 percent), focusing on the objective rather than the emotion when working with others (81 percent), being early technology adopters (81 percent), taking charge (78 percent), thinking big picture (76 percent), tolerating confrontation (75 percent) and tolerating risk (75 percent).
“Successful CIOs have the ability to adjust their personal style based on context, and be versatile in adapting to the needs of the moment,” said Karen Mazer, principal and U.S. CIO Program executive sponsor, Deloitte Consulting.
82 percent of CIOs say spend in legacy systems and core modernization will increase or hold steady over the next two years, signaling the enormous back-end transformation underway to support the front-end customer demands
64 percent of CIOs expect technology spend in cybersecurity will increase over the next two years, but only 37 percent picked cybersecurity as an IT capability key to their success.
CIOs report strongest relationships with CEOs and CFOs (62 percent each). Thirty-five percent of respondents said they report to the CEO and 20 percent to the CFO.
Gartner on CDO transition
Meanwhile, Gartner, Inc.’s second annual chief data officer (CDO) survey found that early adopters of the CDO role and the office of the CDO (OCDO) are pioneering a new organizational function, to go alongside IT, business operations, HR and finance.
Gartner predicts that, by 2020, 15 percent of successful CDOs will move into CEO, COO, CMO or other C-level positions.
“Fifty-four percent of the organizations we surveyed said that their OCDO was fully or partially implemented, with a further 20 percent already exploring, planning to explore or planning to implement an OCDO within the next year. Only 19 percent said they are unlikely to implement an ODCO,” said Debra Logan, vice president and Gartner Fellow.