Driven by heightened competition and a rapidly changing business environment, many enterprises now find themselves faced with decisions that could make or break their future.
Consider this: Within three years, 44% of respondents to the 2019 Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey expect to fundamentally change their product, service offerings or business model. It’s a finding that spans enterprises both large and small, the survey said.
This could explain why IT leaders reported their technology budget to be increasing the most in 15 years. The report found 45% of respondents favor budget increases for money-saving technology efforts, such as task automation. Interestingly, almost two-thirds, or 63% of organizations, report that considerable amounts of their enterprise technology efforts are managed outside of the control of their IT department.
However, the survey showed those organizations where the IT team is formally involved in business technology decision-making have better business outcomes. These enhanced outcomes include improving new product time-to-market and employee experience to be better than their competitors. Still, four in ten companies are not formally involving IT in those business-led IT decisions.
Increased investments in automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are expected to place considerable churn on the workforce. CIOs are expecting to witness one in five jobs being replaced by AI/automation within the next five years. However, 69% of CIOs also expect enough new jobs to replace those positions lost to automation.
“Boards are asking their CIO and technology team to prioritize automation of jobs. How organizations adapt to automation will increasingly become a priority, and many are not at all ready,” said Albert Ellis, CEO of Harvey Nash.
Despite CIOs enjoying a rising influence within their organizations, fewer CIOs have seats on the board of directors at their organization—having fallen significantly from 71% who held board seats just two years ago to 58% today.
The 2019 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey, conducted between December 2018 and April 2019 across 108 countries, is based on the responses of 3,645 CIOs and technology leaders.
While automation and AI may, or may not, displace workers in the future enterprises are counting on them today to help close their perceived skills shortage. According to respondent’s, enterprises continue to find it a challenge to obtain the talent they need. In fact, respondents reported skills shortages at their highest level since 2008.
The employees most difficult to find are those in data analytics (44%), cybersecurity (39%) and artificial intelligence (39%).
Finally, respondents surveyed who consider their organizations to be digital leaders (those who see themselves as very effective or extremely effective at using digital technologies to advance their business strategies, performed better than their competitors on every aspect surveyed.
According to the survey, digital leaders outperformed in time to market (53% versus 34%), customer experience (65% versus 49%), revenue growth (55% versus 43%) and profitability in the previous year (50% versus 37%). Digital leaders, the survey said, are also more likely to introduce ‘major new changes to products and services’ in the next three years (55% versus 39%) and focus on profitability.