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The Shape of CIO Priorities Today

For CIOs, this year and every year has become about digital transformation. Progress is hard won at every turn as IT organizations attempt to modernize. The Logicalis Global CIO Survey 2017-2018 incorporates responses from 890 CIOs in 23 countries to take a snapshot of how CIOs are handling transformation right now. Right now, only 5 percent of CIOs think of their business as a digital innovator.

Striving for Strategy

The report abounds with other data. For instance, the major barriers to transformation identified are organizational culture at 56 percent response, cost at 50 percent, and large or complex legacy infrastructure at 44 percent. In other words, entrenched processes and systems are incredibly difficult to replace with more modern, flexible options. And security fears are not making transformation any easier either, as 33 percent of CIOs say that security issues have prevented or stopped IT projects from moving forward. Security is also cited as the biggest challenge to employing more cloud services in the business.

The report interprets all of this and other data and arrives at a familiar conclusion: CIOs are losing too much time on operational activities to have the resources leftover for strategy and innovation. But CIOs are at least trying to buck this trend. Fifty-one percent of them are replacing and/or adapting existing infrastructure, and another 51 percent are trying to change the culture. Thirty-eight percent are providing additional training opportunities.

Nonetheless, the report finds that the delivery of new digital services is occurring more in a piecemeal fashion than as part of a cohesive strategy:

They do not deliver the full benefit of digital enablement because they are disconnected.  They do not contribute to a wholesale transformation that leverages the wealth of data created by digital services to deliver actionable insight; underpin better, faster decision making; or enable constant innovation.

The fact that progress in developing digital apps and adapting to IoT is not matched by similar progress developing analytics capabilities amply illustrates the point.

Interestingly, CIOs’ plans to overcome barriers to analytics implementation are a microcosm of their plans to unlock digital transformation by relying on structural and cultural change, particularly greater collaboration with line-of-business colleagues.

A really pessimistic interpretation of this data would be to say, “It’s more of the same for CIOs.” A more optimistic interpretation would be, “Organizations are becoming more mindful of obstacles.” Either one, or both, is accurate.

For further data on a variety of subjects, you can view the full report here and draw your own conclusions: http://www.us.logicalis.com/globalassets/united-states/downloads/cio-reports/2017-cio-survey-report.pdf

About John Friscia

John Friscia was the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success from 2015 through 2018. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and grew in every possible way in his time there. John graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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