New study reveals biggest CIO challenges

New research from BT has highlighted challenges and changes CIOs globally are experiencing in their journey towards digital transformation.

The report revealed CIOs are clear on the most disruptive technology trends – cloud, mobility and collaboration, and data. A fifth of global organisations are already completely cloud-centric, and a further 46% have more than half their applications and infrastructure in the cloud.

The study surveyed 1030 senior IT decision makers based in eleven countries and found that CIOs around the world are embracing digital transformation to reinvent their organisations’ processes and systems. The impact of digital is such that the importance of the CIO at boardroom level continues to rise; 72% of senior IT decision makers say that the CIO has become more central in the boardroom over the last two years and 43% of CIOs say that they now spend more time dealing with corporate issues.

In conjunction with the results, BT also announced the launch of “The Digital Possible”, a global initiative aimed at empowering CIOs to better embrace ambitious digital transformation agendas for large organisations all over the world. BT’s initiative will bring to market a wide range of new digital services, building on insight from the study.

CIOs find themselves increasingly challenged to find the time to develop creative solutions for their business. Close to two-thirds (61%) of senior IT decision makers feel that the CIO is spending more time maintaining current IT systems than searching for new solutions. That is a drop from 2014, when the figure was 74%, but shows that despite ambitions for digital transformation, the CIO still has to deal with legacy systems.BT

With the CIO acting as a catalyst, 76% of large organisations across the world have, or plan to adopt, a ‘multi-speed’ approach to technology-led initiatives. This involves more creativity, more flexibility and a more dynamic operating model. According to BT’s research, 65% of CIOs are also noting rapid changes in the KPIs measuring their own performance, with a clear trend putting digital transformation at the centre of all their activities.

In 72% of organisations covered by BT’s latest research, multiple teams are sourcing and commissioning core IT products and services without the involvement of the IT function. The latest research suggests that the IT function is growing more comfortable with providing an overall enablement role, with a particular focus on data security, a suitably powerful infrastructure and ensuring there are no duplications of effort across the organisation. These changing responsibilities underlie the new role of the digital CIO which operates horizontally, across the business as an enabler.

Responding to digital transformation’s remarkable acceleration, BT will announce in the coming weeks and months a new wave of innovative services, accelerating the execution of its Cloud of Clouds portfolio strategy. They will cover the technologies identified by the BT CIO report 2016 as being the most disruptive: cloud, mobility and collaboration, and data.

New Services

These new launches will cover all areas of the Global Services portfolio, and include:

– UK and global mobility services leveraging BT’s recent acquisition of EE;

– unique real time big data analysis capabilities put to the service of customer relationship management;

– further expansion of cloud connectivity as well as additional software defined networks and consultancy capabilities;

– new ways of customising cloud services to meet the needs of individual organisations and industry sectors;

– new security and professional services capabilities will accompany those investments, empowering CIOs to make the bold decisions required on their digital journey.

“The pace of digital change is creating new opportunities for our customers and those opportunities require quick responses. The role of the digital CIO is one of the most demanding in business. They need to be strategic, creative, growth-minded and cost conscious,” says Luis Alvarez, CEO of Global Services. “They have to understand technology and people, and balance control and safety with enablement and speed. They are becoming the pioneers of change. To be successful, they now require strategic partnerships within and beyond their organisation. We are well placed to be their digital enabler. Today, we are committing to accelerate investments in our Cloud of Clouds portfolio to help them fully uncover and realise their own ‘Digital Possible’.”