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UK CIOs bottom of digital workflow league

Leading CIOs shift from tech to leadership focus, but a new survey from ServiceNow has found that UK CIOs have not increased workflow budget

A global survey of 516 CIOs has found that the UK is falling behind the rest of the world in how much budget CIOs put aside for digital workflow projects.

The survey, by Oxford Economics for ServiceNow, reported that nearly two-thirds (63%) of CIOs believe business and leadership skills are more important than technological acumen – and, critically, the most successful CIOs are those who have positioned themselves firmly as business visionaries.

According to ServiceNow, CIOs who have adopted greater levels of workflow digitisation are also more likely to report highly successful outcomes.

But, while 82% of US CIOs and 64% of Spanish CIOs said they had extended their budget for digital workflow projects, in the UK, just 38% said their budget had increased.

At least 40% of the CIOs surveyed by Oxford Economics cited a shortage of skills, a lack of budget or time, inadequate technology, and the lack of an effective management plan as impediments to achieving their goals. Some 37% also cited ineffective collaboration.

The research found that the highest-performing CIOs focus on strategy versus operations and aligning the goals of IT with the goals of the business. These CIOs also report higher levels of productivity, innovation and customer satisfaction in their organisation and have the strongest relationships with other business leaders, in particular the CEO and chief human resources officer (CHRO), said ServiceNow.

According to ServiceNow, the most successful CIOs are those who are building consensus and action around automating and integrating work processes and introducing digital workflows to drive outcomes. They recognise the importance of digital workflows in increasing efficiency (80%), financial performance (78%), productivity (78%), employee performance (76%) and innovation (75%).

Chris Pope, vice-president innovation at ServiceNow, said: “CIOs have the opportunity to take centre stage in leading a transformational change for their organisations. Building C-suite influence, focusing externally at employee and customer experiences, and changing the operating model through workflow digitisation are key to unlocking high performance.”

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