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2016 - 2017 Deloitte Global CIO Survey

60 percent of Belgian CIOs see their future role as a business co-creator

Majority pick customers as the top business priority. Digital technologies will have the biggest impact in the coming years.

The CIO can play a key role in detecting disruptive business patterns and fostering technology, driving value and innovation. However, this strategic process still has to be implemented in a lot of IT organisations, reckon almost 50 percent of the respondents.

Brussels, Belgium – 21 December 2016 -  Deloitte’s 2016 - 2017 Global CIO Survey found that 40 percent of Belgian CIOs report their current type as trusted operator, 30 percent as change instigator and 30 percent as business co-creator, but 60 percent of all CIOs surveyed see their future role as a business co-creator.

The survey has uncovered a shift in business priorities from “business performance” to “customers”, with 56 percent of chief information officers choosing “customers” as their top priority.

For the Belgian CIO, digital is definitely the area that will have a huge impact on the business in the coming years. More than half of the respondents predict that the budget allocation for digital will increase by 10 percent in the next two years. One third of them expect that it will grow by even more than 10 percent.

Choosing the right pattern
In the face of evolving business expectations, CIOs must be able to shift between three pattern types to be effective and create value. They are: ‘trusted operators’, who ensure operational excellence; ‘change instigators’, who enable large business transformations; and ‘business co-creators’, who drive business strategy. It may come as a surprise, but the Belgian CIO is growing beyond the trusted operator pattern faster than his colleagues. Worldwide some 55 percent of the respondents declare to be in trusted operator mode, while in Belgium it is only 4 out of 10. This is a clear change from 2015 when Belgian chief information officers aligned more or less with the global figure. In general, most of the IT executives predict a fast decline for this role in the near future.

While cutting costs and improving efficiency is still one of the major business objectives for the trusted operator, the change instigator (about 1 out of 3 Belgian CIOs) spends only a small amount of his time on operations focusing about 40 percent of his time on change initiatives, the same amount of time the business co-creator allocates to business strategy. 60 percent of the Belgian CIOs see their future role as a business co-creator, doubling the figure today. The majority believes that innovation is a core business expectation.

Significant gaps in expectations
The focus is on attracting, retaining and engaging end customers. In the digital transformation process these are definitely the ultimate driving forces. But there is still a significant gap between the business priorities and the business expectations for IT. Only 59 percent of the CIOs are involved in building technology platforms for the end customers of the company. Less than half of the respondents are designing products and services for customers. The same applies for customer data analyses or customer experience. This may lead to the conclusion that a lot of these customer-centric initiatives are still siloed between business and IT.

Driving business value
The foremost emerging capacity is the continual search for business innovation through technology. The CIO can play a key role in detecting disruptive business patterns and fostering technology, driving value and innovation. However, this strategic process still has to be implemented in a lot of IT organisations, reckon almost 50 percent of the respondents. A quarter of the globally surveyed CIOs admit that they or their department lack the skills to respond to the upcoming digital era. No surprise that only 10 percent of the CIOs has a strong relationship with the head of digital or the Chief Digital Officer.

Overall, the relationship with the Chief Executive Officer is seen as very important to succeed in the coming two years. One out of two respondents mentions maintaining a strong connection with the business leader but the relationship with the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Marketing Officer and the Chief Operations Officer is valued higher. Bridging the gap and networking with these different decision layers will become increasingly relevant in order to gain trust, launch and attract ideas and solutions across the enterprise, and propel technology as a real business enabler.

About Deloitte’s Global CIO Survey
This research was conducted from May–September 2016 across 48 countries with an aim to better understand the impact and the legacy of the CIO role. Globally, the insights and opinions of 1,217 technology leaders across 23 industry segments were collected through in-depth interviews and online surveys. Deloitte used clustering analysis to segment the respondent population into three patterns and explored the navigation between pattern types based on business need and specific triggers for change. More than 40 CIOs contributed to the section of the report that is devoted to the Belgian perspectives.

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