Infographic: The age of digital transformation and the challenges facing CIOs

Logicalis’ 2016 Global CIO Survey looked at the digital transformation of business – how quickly it is taking place and the impact on CIOs and IT departments. We surveyed more than 700 IT leaders worldwide to find out how their roles and priorities are changing as digitisation gathers pace.

Digitally enabled business

We are now in a digital age for business, driven by cloud, mobility, big data analytics and social business. Organisations are looking to bring higher standards of automation, control and security to everything they provision and deploy. With the new business models afforded by digital, traditional organisations are able to transform the customer experience, streamline their operations, and open up a wealth of opportunity for innovation.

For most survey respondents, a clear consequence of digital transformation is a significant decentralisation of IT. IT skills are increasingly distributed throughout the business rather than held centrally by the IT department. Line of business (LOB) departments are now employing staff purely to support function-specific technologies and services. According to our respondents, this is the case in 84% of firms – clearly the new norm. In what’s a positive sign, in most organisations, the communication between CIOs and IT employed by LOB departments is strong, with 64% declaring that they collaborate regularly.

This year’s survey also identified a big change in technology focus. In keeping with a trend towards digital transformation, the emphasis is now firmly on apps, rather than ‘big tech’. Apps are now central to the business for improving customer experience, developing new revenues and streamlining business processes, and more than three quarters (77%) of organisations are developing apps in-house.

The challenges facing CIOs

However, this rapidly changing environment poses big challenges for CIOs. These include:

  • Slow shift towards strategic initiatives – The majority of CIOs’ time is still taken up by day-to-day tasks, rather than strategic initiatives. Only 14% reported they spend most of their time on value added activities.
  • Minimal control over IT decisions – While 23% report that IT decision-making is shared equally between IT departments and the LOB, 39% report that the LOB buy technology without involving IT at all.
  • Big data not seen as a business imperative – In the majority of cases, big data analytics is still seen as an IT-only issue – only 7% of CIOs report board level involvement in analytics programs.
  • Heightened security risks – distributed IT and the increased pervasion of apps into the very core of the business create a perfect security storm – 78% indicated that security is their biggest challenge in relation to increased use of cloud services.

To assist with the challenges of digital business, most CIOs are looking outside for support – with 60% outsourcing at least some of the provision and management of IT.

The future of digital

This year’s study found that service-enabling technologies – social, mobile, analytics and cloud – are more important than ever. Adoption of cloud has increased the most since last year’s survey – with 54% now using the cloud model for core IT systems such as CRM and email, compared to 47% in 2015. 19% of businesses already make use of the Internet of Things (IoT) to change the way they interact with customers and citizens to deliver services, gather and use data.

We’ve put the key findings of our survey into an easy-to-read infographic. Check out the results below:


Click here to download the full report of this year’s survey findings.

The stats:

  • 83% of LOB departments now employ their own IT staff, and 41% of CIOs work with them at least weekly
  • 77% of firms are developing apps, with 64% having internal developers
  • In 2013, 50% wanted to focus most of their time (70%) on strategic initiatives – by 2016 only 14% have achieved it
  • 23% of CIOs report the balance of IT decision-making is now shared equally between themselves and the LOB; but 39% report that they are bypassed by the LOB completely
  • 23% reported LOB involvement in data analytics, while only 7% reported board level involvement
  • 78% cited security as a challenged in relation to cloud, while data sovereignty (47%) and local data regulations (37%) are the second and third biggest threats
  • 60% outsource up to 30% of the provision and/or management of IT
  • Adoption of cloud has increased the most since 2015 – from 47% to 54%
  • 19% of organisations are using the IoT, while 59% think it will affect them in the next two years


Tags CIO, Digital Transformation, IT Department, IT leaders, Logicalis Global CIO Survey


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