CIOs continue to operate in challenging environment with a shortage of talentDOWNLOAD
11 November 2013: Business investment in IT is on the rise as nearly 80% of IT budgets have increased or stayed the same this year, according to the 2013 Deloitte CIO Survey. Driving digital strategy through new technologies and trends such as mobile, cloud, social media and analytics, is seen as the next highest priority by over 50% of respondents.
Deloitte’s global survey, which gathered responses from over 700 CIOs and senior IT leaders across 36 countries, showed some remarkably consistent experiences across global regions and industries. It provides insight into the opportunities and challenges of CIOs around the world. In Australia almost 30 CIOs participated in the survey.
At a time when business transformation is a top priority for organisations, it is positive that the majority (75%) of CIOs understand how IT functions could support their organisation’s innovation strategies. This increased focus on digital and new business requirements places a greater demand on the IT department to be a centre of innovation. However, challenges remain as only 35% of respondents believe their IT function is considered a credible hub of innovation by the business.
Kurt Proctor-Parker, Deloitte Consulting Technology partner and leader of the CIO program, says: “It seems as if IT budget cuts are largely behind us, with companies investing more in IT, innovation and key areas such as digital. 40% of the Australian CIOs reported that they had not experienced any movement in their budgets over the past year and their current IT priorities are around strengthening risk and security and developing IT staff and skills.
“Business transformation today is both fundamentally driven by and reliant upon the fast changing world of technology. It is therefore no surprise that the CIO’s role will be transformed over the next few years into a more strategic advisory role, especially in terms of developing and delivering business strategy. Some IT leaders are already playing a far stronger role at executive level; this is underpinned by the finding that over a third of CIOs consider their next role to be that of COO or CEO,” said Mr Proctor-Parker.
The survey details how it is up to the Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) industries to weigh up the unique strengths and capabilities of each business, and consider where the opportunities lie so they can refocus their investment dollars on the global growth sectors.
“The low risk way to do this is to reallocate resources and people. The ICT industry is in fact best placed of all industries to embrace the flexibility of digital, to undertake the transformation programs around areas of innovation, to move the best performers to the newer parts of the business that promise growth. Flexibility, transformation and digital is the coding of the ICT sector,” added Mr Proctor-Parker.
The survey highlighted the disconnect between what technology leaders believe they can achieve through IT and innovation – and how they think the business views their capability to do this. As a result, many IT functions are still struggling to partner with the business, with over 60% of global respondents rating their business partnering capabilities as either “fair” or “poor”. For this reason, developing and implementing a dedicated business partnering function should be a top priority.
In Australia it appears CIOs require help with business partnerships, either because the business does not understand what they do or because they do not understand what the business wants from them.
This relates to the next big challenge identified in the survey; a shortage of good talent, as CIOs struggle to find the right blend of technology expertise and business skills to support business demands. This is directly linked to IT business partnering barriers, as this process requires people who not only have the technological skills, but can also think strategically and communicate effectively.
Proctor-Parker says: “We are confident there are many untapped opportunities lying ahead for the CIO. They have never played a more prominent role in the boardroom, nor have they had more opportunities to get closer to the business strategy than they have now. While we still have some way to go, especially in terms of improving the IT business relationship, the perception of IT is changing as more organisations realise the strategic importance of this function. This is a positive move in the right direction.”
Key findings include:
“It is crucial CIOs use their secured seat at the boardroom table well. They need a strong working knowledge of their organisation’s goals and objectives and are also able to articulate the role technology can play in achieving them,” concluded Mr Proctor-Parker.
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