By 2021, CIOs to serve as HR chiefs and cultural change agents: Gartner report

By 2021, CIOs to serve as HR chiefs and cultural change agents: Gartner report
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Chief information officers will not only be taking critical technology decisions within organisations, but will play a key role in establishing the right mindsets and practices in their capacity as chief human resource officers, according to a Gartner report.

The report stated that CIOs will bring about proactive and adaptive cultural changes as CHROs and 80% of midsized and large enterprises will have to undergo a cultural change in order to adopt and accelerate their digital transformation strategies.

“A lot of CIOs have realised that culture can be an accelerator of digital transformation and that they have the means to reinforce a desired culture through their technology choices,” said Elise Olding, research vice president at Gartner. “A partnership with the CHRO is the perfect way to align technology selections and design processes to shape the desired work behaviours,” she added.

Although the values and mission of an organisation fall into the remit of the HR, a new partnership between the IT and HR teams can shed light on how technology and culture go hand-in-hand in the digital transformation sphere.

Enterprise architecture will be able to adopt principles that align with the cultural traits, and when business analysts design processes for digital transformation, it is crucial for the IT and HR teams to work in tandem and create the intended results, the report said. 

However, Olding stated that culture change is an ongoing process that requires overcoming barriers towards digital initiatives in mindset and practice styles. “A great way to jump-start culture change and enable adoption of new technologies and processes is the culture hack. Start with a small, motivated user group and use it to showcase fast wins and results,” Olding said.

Another recent Gartner report stated that 67% of organisations have already undergone cultural changes to adopt digital transformation. The key take away from the study was that current culture is seen as one of the biggest barriers for companies to go digital.

“In 50% of cases, transformational initiatives are clear failures and CIOs report that the main barrier is culture,” said Christie Struckman, research vice president at Gartner. “The logical conclusion is that CIOs should start with culture change when they embark on digital transformation, not wait to address it later.”

The study also drew a stark similarity between culture change and ROI. The research stated that through 2022, 75% of organisations that possess frontline decision-making teams who are focused on diversity and an inclusive culture will exceed the company’s financial targets.