In a notable shift, 45 percent of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are teaming up with their C-suite peers, particularly Chief Experience Officers (CXOs), to jointly oversee digital delivery initiatives on an enterprise-wide scale, Gartner said in its annual global survey of CIOs and technology executives.
Mandi Bishop, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, emphasized the paradigm shift CIOs are undergoing, sharing leadership responsibilities with CxOs to drive digital success amidst budget constraints and rapid technological advancements. Bishop noted, “To effectively steer digital transformation endeavors, CIOs must partner with business leaders, collectively placing the design, delivery, and management of digital capabilities within teams closest to value creation.”
Presenting the findings during the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo, the 2024 Gartner CIO and Technology Executive Survey compiled responses from 2,457 CIOs across 84 countries and major industries, representing approximately $12.5 trillion in revenue/public-sector budgets and $163 billion in IT spending.
CIOs have been actively laying the foundation for democratized digital delivery, employing technologies like low-code platforms (64 percent deployment or planned deployment) and acknowledging the game-changing potential of Generative AI (GenAI) (70 percent recognized its significance). While only 9 percent have implemented GenAI technologies, 55 percent anticipate deploying generative AI within the next 24 months, the report said.
The survey outlined that CIOs’ primary areas of future investment in 2024 encompass cybersecurity, data analytics, and cloud platforms. Central outcomes sought from digital technology investments included excelling in customer or citizen experience, improving operating margins, and generating revenue.
Bishop highlighted that today’s CIOs aspire to transcend traditional IT roles, with 42 percent aiming for growth within their current scope and 43 percent seeking to expand their responsibilities. She emphasized the criticality of delivering business outcomes to reach the next level of leadership.
The survey uncovered three distinct CIO profiles regarding accelerating and scaling digital delivery:
55 percent embrace an “operator” mindset, retaining digital delivery responsibility while partnering with CxOs as sponsors of business area digital initiatives.
33 percent represent “explorers,” involving CxOs and business area staff in digital delivery activities.
12 percent are categorized as “franchisers,” co-leading, co-delivering, and co-governing digital initiatives with CxO peers, sharing delivery responsibility between IT and business staff in multidisciplinary fusion teams.
Notably, CIOs adopting a franchise model were more likely to meet or exceed expectations for digital outcomes (63 percent), compared to the traditional operator model (43 percent). Franchisers also demonstrated superior performance in general IT management activities and digital business strategy.
Janelle Hill, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, emphasized the significance of the ongoing democratization of digital delivery, which fosters innovation, speed to market, and agility. Hill stressed the necessity for CIOs to integrate and align digital initiatives led by their CxO counterparts, highlighting the inextricable link between CIO and CXO co-ownership of digital delivery and enterprise-wide outcome attainment.
In a franchise model, CIOs and CxOs jointly oversee technology governance, with 47 percent of franchiser CIOs advocating for shared responsibility for compliance and risk, compared to 19 percent of operators.
Hill concluded by underscoring the imperative for a co-governance mindset, asserting that collaboration between CIOs and CxOs in managing cybersecurity and data privacy is paramount, acknowledging the evolving responsibilities and accountabilities in this digital era.