A survey of UK and Irish business leaders reveals a lack of preparedness for the digital age, while company CIOs are hamstrung by a lack of power.
The survey, conducted by Coleman Parkes Research for Ricoh, questioned more than 735 businesses and IT decision-makers across Europe.
Half of those surveyed said they were far from ready or had no plans in place for digital transformation.
CIOs will be encouraged to hear that 84pc of these companies believe they are well-equipped to drive this digital transformation. However, only 17pc actually give their CIOs leadership in this area.
“During a time when much more technology-led change is anticipated, businesses will need to be able to adapt quickly to new client demands, economic conditions and to maintain a competitive advantage,” said Matthew McCann, sales director at Ricoh Ireland. “To meet the challenges posed by this change, IT management should no longer be sidelined as a supporting role. Instead, CIOs must be further empowered to influence business models, client interaction and employee productivity.”
While optimising business-critical processes was ranked as the No 1 activity having the biggest positive impact on business growth, only 10pc of CIOs feel empowered in this area.
CEOs were revealed as the most likely candidate to lead digital transformation projects, with 35pc of companies surveyed appointing them to do so, but McCann sees this as a misguided approach.
“By starting with business-critical processes – the No 1 ranked activity to impact business growth – CIOs can combine technology expertise with commercial acumen to review, and change the organisation’s traditional ways of working. In turn, they will gain much more than cost savings. The business will benefit from being able to move forward with a more productive and agile working model where employee knowledge sharing is enhanced and they are more responsive to client needs,” he says. “In the longer term, with these strong foundations in place, the CIO can focus on the core business areas and successfully lead the organisation into a brighter digital future.”