In the remaining months of this year and throughout 2018, CIOs are expected to switch to a business executive role as organisations are transformed by digital technology.
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According to a Gartner survey of more than 3,000 CIOs in 98 countries, 95% expect their jobs to change over the next 15 months because of digitisation.
Gartner said CIO roles will move away from controlling cost and engineering processes, to revenue generation and deriving value from data, and traditional IT delivery management will take up less and less of CIOs’ time.
“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, 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.”
The survey also revealed security and artificial intelligence (AI) as the technology trends that will change CIOs’ jobs significantly.
When it comes to digital challenges, CIOs ranked AI, followed by digital security and the internet of things, as the most problematic technologies to implement because of problems in finding people with the right skills.
In terms of CIO priorities for 2018, helping the business grow is number one for 26%, according to the survey. Because organisations see digital technologies as a way to grow the business and introduce new business models, CIOs will play a key role.
“CIOs are on the road from digital experimentation to digital scaling,” said Rowsell-Jones. “However, a wall exists between those early digital experiments and pilots, and those that have achieved digital scale.” Organisational culture is the biggest hurdle, he added.
The Gartner report found that 84% of the CIOs surveyed now have responsibility for areas of the business outside traditional IT and the more mature an enterprise’s digital business is, the more likely its CIO will report to the CEO.