Evolving role of CIO: Lenovo study

A new global research study from Lenovo reveals how the CIO role has evolved, revealing growing areas of responsibility and increasing influence in the C-Suite, as well as removing barriers to business growth.
Lenovo ThinkPad T480S
Key findings from Lenovo’s global survey of more than 500 CIOs include:

Nearly all CIOs surveyed believe their roles have evolved and expanded in the past few years, and that they are being asked to make business decisions that go far beyond technology.

9-in-10 CIOs say that their roles and responsibilities have expanded beyond technology, including non-traditional areas such as data analytics and business reporting (56 percent), sustainability / ESG (45 percent), DE&I (42 percent), HR / talent acquisition (39 percent), and sales / marketing (32 percent).

82 percent say the CIO role has become more challenging compared with just two years ago as they are confronting a vast array of unique challenges, from the increasing use of AI and automation to talent acquisition in a global, remote workforce.

CIOs find it most difficult to solve challenges related to data privacy / security (66 percent), cybersecurity / ransomware (66 percent), keeping up with technological change (65 percent), managing fragmented IT vendor ecosystems (61 percent) and adopting/deploying new technology (60 percent).

The majority of CIOs believe their role in the organization has increased in influence.

More than 3-in-4 CIOs say they have a greater impact on their company’s overall fortunes than other C-Suite positions.

88 percent agree that “my role as CIO is the most critical component of my company or organization’s continued operation.”

CIOs expect to turn to their vendors to help them solve problems in the next five years, including increasing their organizational agility (60 percent) and providing security of their company’s systems and operations (52 percent), as well as to simplify the configuration, deployment and maintenance of technology (50 percent), and optimize costs (43 percent).

8-in-10 CIOs agree their tech vendors are “so effectively integrated that it increases their overall productivity.

CIOs suggest their current tech stack has much room for improvement.

Most CIOs (57 percent) say they would replace half or more of their company’s current technology.

Compared to the previous year, 63 percent of companies are using more Device-as-a-Service in their tech stack.

Nearly all CIOs (92 percent) would definitely or probably consider adding new aaS offerings over the next two years.

Research firm IDC estimates that by 2023, 60 percent of CIOs will be primarily measured for their ability to cocreate new business models and revenue streams, chiefly through enterprise-wide collaboration. Lenovo’s research shows that it may be an uphill battle for CIOs.

Lenovo said its solutions provide Everything-as-a-Service offerings in Lenovo TruScale; the flexibility to pay for the infrastructure solutions they need, as long as they need; and expertise and services that empowers CIOs to focus more on their strategic imperatives.

Forecasts by Technology Business Research indicate that Device Subscription Services are growing at a CAGR of 26 percent from 2020 to 2024 and data center subscription services are growing at 42 percent during the same period.