CIOs need to invest, rethink and be way more adaptive

21 Feb 2017

Image: Sensay/Shutterstock

Deloitte’s latest CIO report shows remarkable similarities throughout the IT field, with management abilities consistent across the board.

In a wide-ranging report into CIOs throughout the world, Deloitte’s latest look into the make-up of people in these positions shows a commonality in personality traits.

In interviews and surveys with 1,200 CIOs across 23 industries in 48 countries, the similarities were overwhelming.

Common traits

While personal emotion, outlook and interaction capabilities tended to change depending on the demographic of CIO, almost every other personality trait was relatively common.

For example, 90pc of those interviewed adapt well to new environments, while over three-quarters focus on objectives rather than emotions, adopt to technology as early as possible, take charge, think about the bigger picture, tolerate confrontation and are risk-tolerant.

Despite personal similarities, in a business sense, plenty is in flux throughout the world of CIOs.

Only half of those questioned said their IT organisation is involved in delivering customer experience through IT capabilities, despite a slender majority highlighting customers as the key priority to their role.

While 75pc said that alignment of IT activities with business strategy was critical to their success, only 3pc said it was a leading-class capability in their IT organisation – digital necessities are, perhaps, being ignored.

This led the report compilers to suggest that some CIOs only view digital capabilities as those that relate to front-end tools, a surprising attitude to take towards something so ingrained in all aspects of the business world.

Ready for a revolution

Steve Weston, CIO and global head of corporate at Hays, recently discussed the tech revolution with, questioning if businesses were ready for the changes already taking place around us.

“We’re on the brink of a fourth industrial revolution, and the technology that underpins it will have a huge and, some would say, unpredictable impact on business,” he said.

“One thing is for sure: with digitalisation and automation such a high priority, the impact on the role of the CIO, and on their IT departments the world over, will be profound.”

Deloitte thinks the role of a CIO must embrace some key elements: adaptiveness, a willingness to invest, and reappraisal how digital affects business.

“The CIO is well-positioned to influence and support the whole digital iceberg and to help create the right strategy, platforms and services to realise a holistic digital enterprise, rather than a collection of disjointed departmental investments,” reads the report.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic