2015 Global CIO Survey

Creating legacy

Every company today is a technology company. CIOs are involved not just in driving efficiency, but also in reimagining customer experiences, reshaping how work gets done, and even rewiring business models. The study analyzes the expectations and the competencies that are required for today’s CIOs.

This 2015 global CIO study, backed by experience with hundreds of IT leaders who have participated in Deloitte’s CIO Program, shows how the four framing elements shape the context in which CIOs deliver value today and tomorrow: Business priorities, leadership and talent, relationships and technology investment. The research is based on surveys and interviews with more than 1,200 CIOs and senior IT executives across 43 countries around the globe.

Every company today is a technology company; CIOs are involved not just in driving efficiency, but also in reimagining customer experiences, reshaping how work gets done, and even rewiring business models. This survey shows that across organizations big and small, across industries, and across geographies, CIOs have common business priorities, all directly linked to the heart of their businesses.

Five business priorities dominate the CIO agenda

CIOs around the globe were nearly unanimous in identifying the top five business priorities: performance, cost, customers, innovation, and growth. These top priorities were consistent across industry, geography, and size of organization.

What is the expectation for today’s CIOs?

CIOs have moved from leading a supporting function to managing a business function. They reported that business leaders expect them to not only contribute to the bottom-line business priorities, but also to enable and even drive top-line initiatives. Many CIO respondents described simultaneously juggling business performance and growth objectives with IT cost reduction and efficiency improvement.

Today’s CIOs have to be ambidextrous, contributing to business strategy on one hand, while trying to ensure that day-to-day operations are running effectively on the other. Most importantly, CIOs need to have not only technology acumen but also the courage and conviction to lead their organizations through change.

Competencies that a successful technology leader needs

Out of the 12 leadership capabilities, CIOs overwhelmingly picked six as the most important for success in their role: influence with internal stakeholders, communication skills, understanding strategic business priorities, talent management, technology vision and leadership, and the ability to lead complex, fast-changing environments. Three skills with the largest gaps were the ability to influence internal stakeholders, talent management, and technology vision and leadership. These gaps point to a general proficiency in “managerial” skills and a relative deficiency in “leadership” skills for CIOs.

Technology priorities and investments

CIOs unsurprisingly named analytics, business intelligence, and digital as the technologies that will have significant impact on the business within two years. Globally, three out of four CIOs picked analytics and digital as two technologies that will impact their business in the next two years.

Three different patterns that describe how CIOs are delivering value today

This report examined the characteristics of three CIO patterns: trusted operator, change instigator, and business co-creator. Each is distinct, driven by the frame of business priorities, leadership and talent, relationships, and investments. CIOs should first understand what the business needs, and then migrate to the pattern most suitable for delivering against those needs. This isn’t a one-time effort. As the framing elements change and evolve, so does the preferred CIO legacy profile:

·         Trusted operators deliver operational discipline within their organizations by focusing on cost, operational efficiency, and performance reliability. They also provide enabling technologies, support business transformation efforts, and align to business strategy.

·         Change instigators take the lead on technology enabled business transformation and change initiatives. They allocate significant time to supporting business strategy and delivering emerging technologies.

·         Business co-creators spend most of their time on driving business strategy and enabling change within their businesses to see that there is effective execution of the strategy.

2015 Global CIO Survey
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