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Why CIOs must start offloading work

Taking on more responsibilities is having a detrimental effect on digital transformation and customer experience initiatives

CIOs will need to rethink how they manage IT as they battle with competing pressures to use technology to innovate, while reengineering existing IT systems and focusing on digitisation.

Forrester’s research found that in 2018, over half of digital transformation efforts stalled. The analyst firm found far too many organisations were not ready for digital transformation or customer experience initiatives.

It reported some organisations underestimated the real work needed to overcome technical debt and poor data governance. Some organisations lacked executive cohesion while some chose instead to invest in back-office technologies to drive efficiencies.

The analyst also found that some organisations were worried a digital transformation initiative would interrupt or destroy quarterly performance.

For its 2019 predictions, Forrester said almost three quarters of CIOs are set to relegate some of their management areas.

The Forrester predictions 2019 forecast reported only 25% of CIOs would expand their remit.

According to Forrester, the CIO sits at the centre of a storm, waging a three-front battle: addressing ageing systems and longstanding data issues; driving a business strategy that harnesses the value of a wide range of new, powerful technologies; and maximising the value and security of today’s environment.

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Forrester noted that all of these challenges are happening while the business is trying to figure out what it means to be a digital-first organisation.

“It’s the diversity and interdependency of the mandate that make this hard,” Forrester said.

Businesses not only need to refactor and automate core systems, they also need to establish a data governance environment, deploy AI systems and using technology to differentiate customer experiences. These different IT challenges are not only complex but also highly interdependent, according to Forrester.

During 2019, Forrester predicted the CIO will lead and orchestrate this vital effort. “CIOs will spend the time to build their leadership teams.”

According to Forrester, these teams will be empowered as trusted operators to handle much of the day-to-day tasks needed to run IT. “The most important outcome of 2019 is that leading CIOs will build a model that translates tech-led innovation into customer value,” the report noted.

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