Today, Deloitte released its 2018 global CIO survey, the third and final report in the organization’s CIO legacy project. The survey is designed to specifically identify key trends among CIOs and explore how they deliver value to their organizations to create a lasting benefit. This year’s report builds on two previous surveys of more than 1200 global CIOs and explores how CIOs can shift from trusted operators to leading business growth and transformation in the digital era. One of the key findings is a clear distinction between what are termed “digital vanguard” organizations that have mastered digital strategy – and those that still have a long way to go.
Remarkably, the survey found that 44 percent of responding CIOs are neither actively involved in developing nor executing their organization’s digital strategy, even though digital strategy is an increasingly critical part of business strategy as a whole. Only a quarter of all respondents, regardless of role, indicated that they have an enterprise-wide digital strategy at all; the time is now for CIOs to take the reins.
This year’s survey shows that CIOs haven’t shifted away from being trusted operators in the past three years – more than half of the CIOs surveyed are still focused on delivering efficient, reliable information technology operations rather being a catalyst for growth and transformation within their organizations. Effective CIOs may need to respond to the rapidly-changing digital world by looking inward and redefining their role; looking across and reimagining their IT organizations and talent; and looking beyond to rebalance their organization’s technology capabilities as new innovations come to market.
“Vanguard CIOs, as our report finds, are involved in the entire business, from front- to back-office functions,” said Kristi Lamar, managing director and experience leader in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s CIO Program and co-author of the report. “Every company is a technology company, so it’s critically important for CIOs to know and partner with the entire business, be involved in enterprise strategy and cooperate closely with corporate boards. Those that don’t will struggle to adjust to technological change.”
Vanguard CIOs are much more likely to have strong relationships and partnership with both front-office and back-office functions; 72 percent of vanguard CIOs report strong relationships with sales teams, for example, while only 55 percent of other organizations report the same. Additionally, these CIOs report much stronger relationships with client-facing functions when they invest in fostering the tech fluency of the enterprise.
Surprisingly, 60 percent of CIOs surveyed indicated that they did not have leadership roles in developing enterprise digital strategy. Unsurprisingly, vanguard organizations are far ahead of their competitors in developing processes to prioritize IT investments. Fifty-one percent (versus 35 percent of other organizations) have a coherent and transparent process for investment prioritization.
“CIOs need to be deeply involved in both developing and executing digital strategy and transformation, from planning the initial investment to deliberate adoption of technologies,” said Khalid Kark, US CIO Program research director at Deloitte LLP. “Over the course of these three surveys, we’ve seen clearly how digital vanguard CIOs directly help drive success at their organizations and gain, or maintain, credibility by telling the value creation story; other organizations are missing out on these benefits and opportunities.”
CIOs in the digital vanguard organizations report having significantly more board interactions than those who are not, which significantly increases the likelihood of having technology- and innovation-focused discussions.
“It’s hard to overstate the importance of leadership at all levels of transformation,” said Lamar. “All CIOs can learn from the inward, across, and beyond framework to take stock of their organization’s capabilities and challenges and move forward in an increasingly disruptive marketplace.”
About the 2018 global CIO Survey
This survey was conducted during January–March 2018 across 71 countries with an aim to better understand the impact and the legacy of the CIO role. The research was conducted through in-depth interviews and online surveys. Globally, 1,437 technology and business leaders participated in this research across 23 industry segments.