Role Of CIO Is Changing And Growing In Importance, Say New Forbes Insights Studies

NEW YORK  : Digital technology is increasingly transforming industries, seeping into every part of the business and escalating as a corporate priority. It’s therefore no surprise that the role of the chief information officer (CIO) is also transforming and increasing in importance.

To explore how the role of the CIO is changing and what this means for businesses today, Forbes Insights teamed up with Intel and VMware and surveyed more than 400 CIOs around the globe to get their perspective. This research resulted in two companion reports: “The Ascent of the CIO” and “The Challenges for Tomorrow’s CIO.” These reports highlight the key findings from the research, and also provide recommendations to CIOs on how they can navigate this new environment and succeed in digital transformation.

Digital transformation is changing every corner of business, from how companies source parts to how they deal with customers. Each change, both large and small, creates a demand for technology expertise and leadership. 
It’s no surprise that technology is driving change within the CIO role. What is surprising is that CIOs don’t cite just one or two factors driving these changes; they point to several. Beyond technology in customer relationships, CIOs also say the use of big data and analytics, as well as more technology in the supply chain, are major influences.

Given these changes in the CIO role and in technology, it’s only expected that CIOs must change as well, adapting their personal and professional skills to meet today’s demands and the new business environment. Those who don’t won’t be able to enact change—they risk becoming irrelevant.

 “The skill sets expected of CIOs are shifting,” said Tom Davis, Chief Marketing Officer at Forbes Media. “They need to contribute to corporate strategy and manage a lot of change.”

Key findings:

  • Over four out of five CIOs believe their role has increased in importance over the last five years.
  • Five years ago, CIOs believed their most important skill was technology know-how. Today, they believe it is contributing to corporate strategy.
  • CIOs believe the most important personal qualities required of a CIO today are leadership (39%), communicating and influencing (37%), and partnering with others (36%).
  • CIOs believe the following factors could cause them to be unsuccessful: lacking technology expertise, being tactical instead of strategic, and not setting a vision and leading towards it.
  • 70% of CIOs believe technology trends are increasing the chances of the CIO becoming the CEO.
  • 40% of CIOs say their function will be essential to successfully formulating customer-facing solutions, creating global capabilities, developing new revenue-earning opportunities and fostering innovation within their companies.
  • CIOs’ jobs are now more structurally complex, and CIOs face many challenges, from the diffusion of IT responsibility to technology sprawl to organizational silos.

About Forbes Insights :

Forbes Insights is the strategic research and thought leadership practice of Forbes Media, a global media, branding and technology company whose combined platforms reach nearly 94 million business decision makers worldwide on a monthly basis. By leveraging proprietary databases of senior-level executives in the Forbes community, Forbes Insights conducts research on a wide range of topics to position brands as thought leaders and drive stakeholder engagement. Research findings are delivered through a variety of digital, print and live executions, and amplified across Forbes’ social and media platforms.

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