Role of CIO continues to evolve into 2022 - Lenovo study
A new global research study from Lenovo reveals how the CIO role has evolved, shedding light on growing areas of responsibility and increasing influence in the C-Suite, as well as removing barriers to business growth.
Today, technology is the nervous system that connects corporate strategy, finance, innovation, operations and talent. CIOs are increasingly tasked with connecting with key stakeholders across the organisation to ensure alignment and drive execution.
This was a key finding of the research. Lenovo states that with IT enmeshed in every facet of a business, CIOs believe that their organisations must continue to invest in digital transformation to remain relevant.
The survey also found that 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 said that their role and responsibilities have expanded beyond technology, including non-traditional areas such as data analytics and business reporting (56%), sustainability/ESG (45%), DE&I (42%), HR/talent acquisition (39%), and sales/marketing (32%).
On top of this, 82% 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.
Overall, CIOs find it most difficult to solve challenges related to data privacy/security (66%), cybersecurity/ransomware (66%), keeping up with technological change (65%), managing fragmented IT vendor ecosystems (61%) and adopting/deploying new technology (60%).
Lenovo Solutions and Services Group president Ken Wong says, “Modern CIOs are the mission control for their organisations, their role has transformed drastically in just the span of the past 24 months.
"From navigating complex tech ecosystems to keep up with the speed of digital transformation, to upskilling employees and managing a global shortage of IT talent, todays CIO is responsible for the entire technology value chain and beyond.
"Lenovo's research demonstrates CIOs are up for the challenge. And they are looking to partner with their vendors to bring their organisations along and succeed.”
Research firm IDC estimates that by 2023, 60% of CIOs at companies world-wide will be primarily measured for their ability to co-create new business models and revenue streams, chiefly through enterprise-wide collaboration.
However, Lenovo's research shows that it may be an uphill battle for CIOs, who have identified areas such as data privacy/security, cybersecurity/ransomware and managing a fragmented IT vendor ecosystem as their most challenging concerns.
Wong says, "In this complex technological environment, CIOs want to innovate, not manage IT. As Lenovo's research highlights, CIOs look to their technology vendors beyond just delivering the basics well namely, increase organisational agility, simplify configuration, and optimise costs.
"IT leaders also need counsel and guidance on how emerging technology can enhance their business goals. The opportunities for technology to add real business value right across the enterprise are immense."
Looking ahead, Lenovo's research finds that CIOs expect to turn to their vendors to help them solve a myriad problems in the next five years, including increasing their organisational agility (60%) and providing security of their company's systems and operations (52%), as well as to simplify the configuration, deployment and maintenance of technology (50%), and optimise costs (43%).
Furthermore, 8-in-10 CIOs agree their tech vendors are so effectively integrated that it increases [their] overall productivity. Considering their new challenges and evolving responsibilities, CIOs suggest their current tech stack has much room for improvement.
To manage an increasingly complex digital transformation journey, businesses need simple and flexible IT solutions, Lenovo states. Businesses of all sizes need the flexibility to stay competitive, and a scalable, cloud-like solution model is the answer.
Industry forecasts by Technology Business Research indicate that device subscription services are growing at a CAGR of 26% from 2020 to 2024 and data centre subscription services are growing at 42% during the same period.
As-a-Service solutions provide mission-critical support and services, enabling businesses to use technology to scale quickly, lower costs, and reap greater efficiencies. Flexible and simple offerings help organisations from the education to aerospace sectors optimise the right technology with the potential to transform and future-proof their operations.