The role of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) has changed dramatically over the past decade. Earlier, they were focused solely on the IT impact on all aspects of the company, but a new study now says that they are now being asked to make business decisions that go far beyond technology.
As per the Lenovo study, 9-in-10 CIOs accepted that their role and responsibilities have expanded beyond technology. The additional responsibilities include non-traditional areas such as data analytics and business reporting (56%), sustainability/ESG (45%), DE&I (42%), HR/talent acquisition (39%), and sales/marketing (32%).
Moreover, 82% of respondents said that the CIO role has become more challenging compared with just two years ago. They are now confronting a vast array of unique challenges, from the increasing use of AI and automation to talent acquisition in a global, remote workforce.
Ken Wong, President of Lenovo Solutions, said, “Modern CIOs are the ‘mission control’ for their organisations, their role has transformed drastically in just the span of the past 24 months.”
Today’s CIO is responsible for the entire technology value chain and beyond. The CIO is now supposed to navigate complex tech ecosystems to keep up with the speed of digital transformation, upskill employees and manage a global shortage of IT talent, said Wong.
Lenovo’s research demonstrates CIOs are up for the challenge. And they are looking to partner with their vendors to bring their organisations along and succeed.
Interestingly, the survey also figured that CIOs find it most difficult to solve challenges related to data privacy/security (66%), cybersecurity/ransomware (66%), keeping up with technological change (65%), managing fragmented IT vendor ecosystems (61%) and adopting/deploying new technology (60%).
While more than 3-in-4 CIOs say they have a greater impact on their company’s overall fortunes than other C-Suite positions, 88% agree that “my role as CIO is the most critical component of my company or organization’s continued operation.”
As the CIO role expands and evolves, respondents have also affirmed that their technology vendors play an invaluable role in their company’s overall success. Looking ahead, CIOs expect to turn to their vendors to help them solve a myriad problems in the next five years, including increasing their organisational agility (60%) and providing security of their company’s systems and operations (52%), as well as to simplify the configuration, deployment and maintenance of technology (50%), and optimise costs (43%). 8-in-10 CIOs agree their tech vendors are so effectively integrated that it increases their overall productivity, as per the study.