Given a chance to reboot, most Chief Information Officers (CIOs) would replace half or more of their company’s technology, even as they are being asked to make business decisions beyond technology.
The roles of CIOs have evolved over the past few years. They are now shedding light on growing areas of responsibility, have increasing influence in the C-suite (executive-level officers) and are involved in removing barriers to business growth, according to a global study by Lenovo.
A majority of CIOs believe their role in the organization has increased in influence, it said.
About 57% of the CIOs surveyed said they would like to replace half or more of their company’s current technology considering new challenges and evolving responsibilities. Further, CIOs suggest that their current technology stack has much room for improvement.
Compared to the previous year, 63% of companies are using more Device-as-a-Service in their tech stack, it said.
Nine-in-10 of the CIOs surveyed said that their role and responsibilities have expanded beyond technology, including non-traditional areas such as data analytics and business reporting (56%), sustainability and Environmental, Social and Governance (45%), diversity , equity and inclusion (42%), human resource and talent acquisition (39%) and sales and marketing (32%).
Nearly 82% said their roles have become more challenging compared with just two years ago as they are confronting a vast array of unique challenges from the increasing use of Artificial Intelligence and automation to talent acquisition in a global, remote workforce.
CIOs find it most difficult to solve challenges related to data privacy and security (66%), cybersecurity and ransomware (66%), keeping up with technological change (65%), managing fragmented IT vendor ecosystems (61%) and adopting and deploying new technology (60%).
“Modern CIOs are the ‘mission control’ for their organisations, their role has transformed drastically in just the span of the past 24 months,” said Ken Wong, President, Lenovo Solutions and Services Group.
“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, today’s 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 organizations along and succeed,” Ken Wong said.
More than 3-in-4 CIOs say they have a greater impact on their company’s overall fortunes than other C-Suite positions, with about 88% agreeing their roles as CIOs are the most critical component for a company’s continued operation.
Looking ahead, CIOs expect to turn to their vendors to help them solve myriad problems in the next five years. These include increasing organizational agility (60%) and providing security of their company’s systems and operations (52%) and to simplify the configuration, deployment and maintenance of technology (50%), and optimise costs (43%).
Research firm International Data Corp estimates that by 2023, 60% of CIOs at companies across the globe will be primarily measured for their ability to co-create new business models and revenue streams, chiefly through enterprise-wide collaboration.
Lenovo’s research shows that it may be an uphill battle for CIOs, who have identified areas such as data privacy and security, cybersecurity and ransomware and managing a fragmented IT vendor ecosystem as their most challenging concerns.