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Gartner finds Emea CIOs more ahead on digital than peers elsewhere

Gartner’s annual global CIO survey finds Emea CIOs driving digital transformation programmes to a greater degree than their peers in the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region

Gartner has revealed CIOs in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea) are ahead of their peers in other regions in driving digital transformation programmes.

In its annual global CIO survey, the firm found 35% of CIOs surveyed in Emea were ready to scale up their digital transformation activities, an increase of 15% over last year.

It revealed the findings at the Gartner Symposium in Barcelona.

Andy Rowsell-Jones, vice-president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, said in a press statement: “Emea CIOs are setting the example when it comes to harvesting the results of digital initiatives. Success at evolving endeavours to scale is higher in Emea than among CIO counterparts in North America, Latin America and Asia-Pacific.

“To encourage the application of ‘digital’ at scale within their organisation, 64% of Emea CIOs fostered better collaboration with the business, and 46% reduced silos and internal complexity.”

The survey found 44% of the Emea CIO respondents were putting the biggest slice of new spending into business intelligence and data analytics, followed by cyber security and digital business activities. Gartner predicted these to be the three most funded technology areas in 2019.

“To continue the positive momentum, it’s paramount that Emea CIOs build stronger relationships with business executives and promote the value of IT internally”
Andy Rowsell-Jones, Gartner

Artificial intelligence (AI) came in at sixth for new or increased spending in 2019, but was identified as the top game-changing technology area. The firm said the survey results showed a maturing of AI use cases in Emea.

Voice interfaces, specifically chatbots, and process optimisation were among the top five technologies either deployed or to be so in the next year. “AI has gone mainstream. It’s now a technology that interfaces with customers and internal operations staff,” said Rowsell-Jones.

For 39% of the organisations undergoing change, the major drivers were said to be reacting to changing customer demands and brand protection. Almost half of CIOs said they were focused on making customer engagement easier and cheaper.

But it won’t be plan sailing, warned Rowsell-Jones. “This year, Emea CIOs are excelling at scaling their digital initiatives. However, they face barriers, including insufficient resources (44%) and business culture blocking change (38%),” he said. “To continue the positive momentum, it’s paramount that Emea CIOs build stronger relationships with business executives and promote the value of IT internally.”

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