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CIOs look to the channel as they increase their strategic role

Logicalis shines a light on the changing demands on IT leaders and the increasing reliance many have on partners

Customers are continuing to face pressure to digitally transform their businesses in the face of tightening budgets and are expected to reshape their businesses.

Logicalis has shared the findings of its 2023 global CIO survey, with it clear that users are under pressure to do more with less and many taking a more prominent seat in strategic business conversations.

The main findings revealed that half of the CIOs quizzed were under pressure to deliver innovation and help their company differentiate from the competition. A similar percentage indicated that building and maintaining digital platforms is still a core activity.

A significant number (80%) said they expected their role would include more involvement in business strategy in the next two years.

All of that pressure to innovate and contribute to strategy is leaving most CIOs in a position where channel relationships are even more important, and the Logicalis survey found that 74% of technology leaders expect to increase spending on IT outsource management this year.

“CIOs are playing a leading role in orchestrating transformation and are stepping up in response to the changing industry dynamics,” said Bob Bailkoksi, CEO at Logicalis.

“Yet, CIOs are faced with challenges to navigate including a potential recession and talent shortages. In addition to this, they are experiencing increased pressure to deliver digital-based outcomes for their organisations, giving them more exposure to their boards and requiring a different way of operating,” he added.

The idea of the CIO becoming more of a strategic influence on the business can be seen on the ground. The survey found that not far off half of those quizzed had some level of responsibility for business strategy, and three-quarters are spending more time selling ideas into the board.

A lot of time and effort is being put into driving innovation to support the ambitions of uncovering more value and competitive advantage.

“Modern CIOs have the right leadership skills and technology expertise to ensure their organisation is well-equipped for the digital world,” said Toby Alcock, CTO of Logicalis.

“Rather than just supporting business needs through technology, the CIO is now using technology to help create new business models and tap into more revenue streams,” he added.

The idea of “doing more with less” was one that was identified at the very start of the year as being the main theme of 2023 as customers wrestled with challenging macro-economic conditions. The pressure to innovate and drive the business forward has always been there, but CIOs are currently trying to do that in the face of tightening budgets.

Last year’s CIO survey from Logicalis showed that the role of the CIO had changed, accelerated by the experiences of the pandemic, and were being expected to be more strategic. That left a gap that was increasingly being filled by the channel, which not only had the skilled staff but also the vendor relationships to provide a wide range of technology and services.

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