CIOs have the greatest impact on business

Chief information officers see their role as core in building out the IT and security infrastructure and talent pool that their organisations require to grow post-pandemic

Three-quarters of the CIOs who took part in a recent survey by Lenovo believe they have a greater impact on their company’s overall fortunes than other C-suite positions.

The study, based on a survey of 550 CIOs in companies with 250 or more employees across Brazil, China, Japan, Singapore, the UK and the US, found that the vast majority (88%) agree with the statement: “My role as CIO is the most critical component of my company or organisation’s continued operation.”

The authors of the Lenovo study noted that CIOs are tasked with recalibrating business transformation efforts, shoring up security systems, and introducing the sudden deployment of new tools. “They are adaptively redesigning digital experiences while asserting the importance of IT to the organisation’s profitability,” said Lenovo.

The study found that almost all of those surveyed (92%) believe CIOs are now asked to make business decisions that go far beyond technology, and their role has changed.

As such, most CIOs (57%) said they would replace half or more of their company’s current technology and nearly a quarter said they would replace most or all of their company’s current technology. The survey also found that 92% of the CIOs said they would definitely or probably consider adding new as-a-service offerings over the next two years because of a changing business model.

One UK CIO quoted in the survey said: “Digital solutions provide new, reliable streams of revenue. These really came to the fore during lockdown.”

According to analyst IDC’s FutureScape: worldwide CIO agenda 2022 predictions, by 2023, 60% of CIOs at companies worldwide will be primarily measured for their ability to co-create new business models and revenue streams, chiefly through enterprise-wide collaboration. But Lenovo said its research showed that this may be an uphill battle for CIOs, who identified areas such as data privacy/security, cyber security/ransomware and managing a fragmented IT provider ecosystem as their most challenging concerns. 

The survey reported that CIOs expect to turn to their IT providers to help them solve myriad problems in the next five years, including increasing their organisational agility (60%) and providing security for their company’s systems and operations (52%), as well as to simplify the configuration, deployment and maintenance of technology (50%), and optimise costs (43%).

“In this complex technological environment, CIOs want to innovate, not manage IT,” said Ken Wong, president of Lenovo’s solutions and services group. “As Lenovo’s research highlights, CIOs look to their technology vendors beyond just delivering the basics well – namely, increase organisational agility, simplify configuration, and optimise costs.

“IT leaders also need counsel and guidance on how emerging technology can enhance their business goals. The opportunities for technology to add real business value – right across the enterprise – are immense.”

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