The 2019 CIO strategy analysed: Leaders needed combining CIO knowledge and CEO flair

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

The role of the CIO in 2019 remains a fascinating one. Where do companies invest in their technology initiatives? What position does the CIO hold? What emerging technologies need to be explored?

According to the 2019 CIO survey from Harvey Nash and KPMG, which polled more than 3,600 IT leaders, almost two thirds (63%) of organisations are now allowing technology to be managed outside the IT department.

This brings about big business advantages, but a balancing act is required with regards to the security risks. If IT is managed away from the direct glare of the CIO, companies are twice as likely to have multiple security areas exposed, as well as become a victim of a major cyber-attack.

When it came to board presence, fewer CIOs are sitting on the board today, although influence remains. Two thirds (66%) of those polled said the CIO role was gaining influence on the organisation, while only 58% of respondents said their CIOs sat on the board – down from 71% two years ago.

The report assessed the opinion of various leading CIOs on digital transformation:

Dr Ralf Schneider, group CIO, Allianz SE: “Trust and security becomes more important than ever. Leaders need to develop and apply capabilities far beyond analytical thinking: intuition, mindfulness and cybernetic action.”

Susan Doniz, group CIO, Qantas Airways: “CEOs, executive teams and boards are confident that the approach and investments are driving real top and bottom line benefit – the shifting nature of technology investments and ROI is no longer a question – companies are doubling down on these investments as a fundamental strategic choice for the sustainability of their futures.”

Adam Banks, chief technology and information officer, Maersk: “Today the universally accepted need for digital transformation is driving a massive need for leaders who can change organisational culture both globally and at scale. We need leaders who can get a ten-tonne culture ball rolling by using skills associated with both the business flair of a CEO and the in-depth technical knowledge of a CIO. A rare breed indeed.”

Looking at where emerging technologies are placed, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are seen as key. CIOs expect that up to one in five jobs will be replaced by AI/automation within five years. However, the overall mood is one of optimism; more than two in three (69%) CIOs believe that new jobs created will more than compensate for the loss through automation.

“There is no longer business strategy and technology strategy – it’s simply strategy with technology driving it,” said Steve Bates, global leader at the CIO advisory centre of excellence at KPMG International. “This research clearly shows that organisations putting technology in the hands of value-creators and connecting the front, middle and back office are winning in the market.

“The future of IT is a customer-obsessed, well governed, connected enterprise,” added Bates.

You can read the full report here (email required). in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their use-cases? Attend the co-located IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, AI & Big Data Expo and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam and explore the future of enterprise technology.

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