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Gartner Executive Program Survey Of More Than 2,000 CIOs Shows Digital Technologies Are Top Priorities In 2013

Stocks in this article: IT

CIOs see these technologies as disrupting business fundamentally over the next 10 years. When asked which digital technologies would be most disruptive, 70 percent of CIOs cited mobile technologies, followed by big data/analytics at 55 percent, social media at 54 percent and public cloud at 51 percent. The disruptiveness of each of these technologies is real, but CIOs see their greatest disruptive power coming in combination, rather than in isolation.

"As CIOs continue to amplify the enterprise with digital technologies while improving IT organizational structure, management and governance, 2013 promises to be a year of dual priorities," said Dave Aron, vice president and Gartner Fellow. "Key CIO strategies identified in the survey reflect the realities of these dual business priorities and confirm the need to expand IT's ability to hunt for new opportunities and harvest current business value. While CIOs recognize that IT's value contribution comes from delivering business solutions, they also recognize that the prioritization and delivery of specific results must change."

As needs and opportunities evolve, more CIOs will find themselves leading in areas outside of traditional IT. In addition to their tending role, they are starting to assume responsibility for hunting for digital opportunities and harvesting value. Sixty-seven percent of CIOs surveyed have significant leadership responsibilities outside of IT, with only 33 percent having no other such responsibilities. This situation contrasts sharply with 2008, when almost half of CIOs had no responsibilities outside of IT. Almost a fifth of CIOs now act as their enterprise's chief digital officer (CDO), leading digital commerce and channels. Although this nascent role varies in scope and style, it normally includes championing the digital vision for the business — that is, ensuring that the business is evolving optimally in the new digital context.

"IT cannot expect to secure additional funding without assuming new responsibilities or producing new results," said Mr. Aron. "Reacting to limited budgets by restructuring costs, outsourcing and doing more with less made sense from 2002 to 2011, when the supply of innovative technologies was scarce. Adapting to, and leading, in the digital world requires doing things differently, yet in ways consistent with the demands of digital technologies. CIOs need to make the case that mainstream emerging mobile, big data, social and cloud technologies justify revisiting IT budget and investment levels."

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