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The Gartner 2017 CIO Agenda

It is time again to look into the future. For its annual CIO Agenda Report, Gartner has surveyed nearly 2,600 CIOs from 93 countries representing $292 billion in IT spending. The end result is a picture of what Gartner calls the digital ecosystem, “an interdependent group of actors (enterprises, people, things) sharing standardized digital platforms to achieve a mutually beneficial purpose.”

Evolve and Thrive Together

The most successful digital businesses are acting in a digital ecosystem, with the chief perceived benefit being increased market penetration. CIOs are looking to embrace a larger world, where they do not rely as heavily on a few most-trusted partners. Transitioning into this bigger network will require changes in technology, organization, and leadership. In any case, ecosystem participation can occur by actively creating one or simply selling or buying through one. And the goal with this is to conduct better business collectively than would have been possible with businesses operating independently.

Just under half of typical businesses are part of a digital ecosystem, versus 79 percent of digital business high-performers and 24 percent of trailing performers. Among other statistics cited, business intelligence/analytics is where all three tiers of performer are presently placing the most investment. Cloud services and solutions come in at a unanimous second place. And when asked about top barriers to innovation, respondents agreed that a lack of available skills ranks most highly, followed by funding/budgets.

The report goes on to say this:

Survey results show that top-performing CIOs echo their CEOs’ priorities, with a tight focus on business growth and digitalization — a focus not seen in the other groups. Ecosystem mastery requires rapid speed of response, yet innovation represents the biggest difference in CIOs’ strategic priorities: 20% of top performers see it as one of the top 3 vs. only 13% of typical performers and 9% of trailing performers.

Effective stakeholder engagement is a key component of success in digital ecosystems. Again, a notable difference between top performers and the rest is their ability to engage with, and win the support of, their peers.

Hoarding and hiding assets in silos or within the organization in general just does not have value in the long term anymore (if it ever had long-term value). Now is the time to increase the talking and the sharing, and to find mutual goals around which organizations can rally. It is possible for everyone to win.

You can view further statistics at the agenda report: http://www.gartner.com/imagesrv/cio/pdf/Gartner_CIO_Agenda_2017.pdf

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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