Gartner notes upcoming challenges for CEOs – and what CIOs must do to mitigate them

When your organisation has to navigate stormy waters, the CEO will take the brunt of the incoming waves. Yet the CIO can steer a course to safety through technological change. A new report from Gartner assesses three macro-level problems chief executives may face in the coming year – and how CIOs can be able to mitigate them.

The first trend is focused around what Gartner calls ‘reglobalisation’. As governments around the world rethink the rules of trade, the analyst firm sees a ‘new topology, with societies rethinking relationships and boundaries.’ This expansion should therefore be tech-driven; CIOs need to apply data science to identify the best geographic business locations and flows.

The entire digitisation strategy needs a rethink, according to Gartner distinguished analyst Kristian Steenstrup. Describing it as ‘digital dithering’, Gartner argues that many CEOs are yet to pull the trigger when it comes to digital transformation – primarily down to the cost and changes required.

CIOs therefore need to give more scope in terms of digital plans for one, five, and 10 year timeframes – focusing on differentiation and long-range measures. “CEOs think it’s time for digital initiatives to show value,” said Steenstrup. “They have been investing in digital for many years, and now expect it to ‘grow up’ and start delivering at scale. If CIOs understand what their CEO needs to achieve, they can shift their agenda to support them.”

Economic patterns also require assessing – and could give chief execs headaches going forward. This, Steenstrup argues, is where the role of the CIO among the board could come under scrutiny. Gartner argues CIOs need to challenge more traditional measures of productivity and ‘apply digital and IT innovation to create productivity breakthroughs.’

“CIOs can support their CEOs by being a rounded business contributor to the overall discussion, assisting as an analytical and diagnostic thinker, as well as project manager,” said Steenstrup.

Writing for this publication last month Robert Rhame, director of EMEA product marketing at Rubrik, noted the need for technological innovation – but with a key caveat. “The CIOs who implement the mist cutting-edge and innovative projects, successfully delivering competitive differentiation to their organisations, will be the ones who progress in their careers the quickest,” wrote Rhame. “However, CIOs simultaneously face pressure to run the rest of the company’s technology seamlessly.

“Without harnessing the potential to automate and simplify your non-differentiating tasks, you risk being outpaced by your competitors and ultimately left behind,” Rhame added.

Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their use-cases? Attend the co-located IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, AI & Big Data ExpoCyber Security & Cloud Expo and 5G Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam and explore the future of enterprise technology.

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