While many enterprises realize that the very success of their business depends upon how well they invest and execute in their technology deployments, a full quarter of CIOs don’t have direct access to their company’s board of directors. This was a finding from the recent “ITWeb Brainstorm CIO Survey.” The 2019 survey was conducted August through October and captured input from close to 200 CIOs.
While a quarter of the CIOs surveyed said they don’t have direct access to their company’s board, more than half did say that they report to the CEO and half do have a seat on their board.
Those results indicate that at least half of enterprises realize the importance of enterprise technology in their future.
However, when it came to public sector IT, those CIOs expressed that their organization perceives IT as more of a technical support role than as a strategic business partner.
The survey also found enterprises have significant work to do when it comes to their digital maturity. According to the survey findings, 54% of respondents self-reported as having a “basic” digital maturity. While 38% self-described their digital maturity as advanced, and only 6% as fully mature. That could explain, at least partially, why CIO respondents in private sector businesses said their organizations perceive them as a strategic business partner.
How do CIOs say they spend their time? Forty-seven percent said they spend their time digitizing processes, while about a third of respondents said they spent their time discussing strategy with business leadership, security/risk management, governance/compliance and developing new products and services.
When it came to what is holding back their efforts, the CIOs cited the following in order of importance: lack of skills, conflicting stakeholder priorities, unrealistic expectations around delivery, legacy constraining new developments and low budget. So it’s no surprise that 55% of respondents said their organizations are actively seeking new skills, while only 13% are not growing new talent.
The survey also found that respondent IT budgets are outpacing core price inflation and those budgets are targeting cybersecurity (63%), data analytics (47%), ERP and core applications (44%), network infrastructure (40%) and automation/RPA (40%).
What is so surprising with these findings is that only 36% of private sector organizations have an IT budget for innovation (only 15% for public sector organizations), and 17% of private sector CIOs said that they don’t have any time for innovation as they are too busy supporting their current systems. That figure leaped to 39% for the public sector.
In today’s era of digitization, that’s not a tenable situation for enterprises that want to succeed and thrive. Our recent post, “CIOs See Dramatic Change Ahead,” covers the results of a 2019 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey, which found those organizations where the IT team is formally involved in business technology decision-making have better business outcomes.
Also, according to that survey, those enterprises that consider themselves to be digital leaders outperformed in many categories including the time to market, customer experience, revenue growth and profitability in the previous year. Digital leaders were found to be more likely to introduce “major new changes to products and services” in the next three years and focus on profitability.
When considering those findings, it’s clear maintaining legacy business-technology investments just isn’t good enough.