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Gartner: CEOs are talking digital

The digital transformation message has got into the boardroom and is now a CEO priority, which should give the channel some chances to support those firms as they change their operations

Digital transformation is one of the key priorities for customers with the channel poised to take advantage of their desire to introduce more efficiency into their operations.

The latest survey of CEO priorities from analyst house Gartner has seen a rise in interest in digital and the chance to use IT to make internal changes that will reap rewards.

Growth remains the main ambition but there is a recognition that upgrading infrastructure could well be one of the main stepping stones to facilitate that goal.

"The most important types of cultural change that CEOs intend to make include making the culture more proactive, collaborative, innovative, empowered and customer-centric. They also highly rate a move to a more digital and tech-centric culture," said Mark Raskino, vice president and Gartner Fellow.

Although the interest from senior management is there one of the biggest inhibitors of digital transformation is a lack of talent and workforce capability.

That spells an opportunity for the channel and Chris Hodson, EMEA CISO at Zscaler, said that partners could help customers.

“CEOs are clearly recognising the benefits of digital transformation, which is great - but to truly reap the rewards, they need help implementing these changes," he said.

"CIOs are instrumental in ensuring businesses are taking the necessary precautions and investing in the right tools to protect themselves when embarking on this journey. Digital transformation is fast becoming a ‘have to have’ as opposed to a ‘nice to have’, and never will we see CEOs rely on their CIO more heavily than to drive such a strategic change," he added.

That sense of it being a must have was also picked up in the Gartner CEO survey with 41% of those business leaders it quizzed stating that their firms should be innovation pioneers.

"CIOs should leverage this bullish sentiment by encouraging their business leaders into making "no way back" commitments to digital business change," added Raskino. "However, superficial digital change can be a dangerous form of self-deceit. The CEO's commitment must be grounded in deep fundamentals, such as genuine customer value, a real business model concept and disciplined economics."

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