Deloitte - CIOs to drive digital transformation

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Aligning IT to business strategy is crucial for success, according to Deloitte’s CIO survey

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06/12/2016 |
  • DELOITTE LaurentP 1416

    Patrick Laurent, Partner and Technology Leader, Deloitte Luxembourg

Three quarters of CIOs say aligning IT activities with business strategy and performance goals is the top IT capability essential to success. This is one of the key findings from the recent global Deloitte CIO survey. For the third consecutive year, Deloitte surveyed 1,200 CIOs in 48 countries to analyze the value and impact technology leaders deliver to their organizations.

Although the majority of CIOs see the importance to match the IT strategy with business priorities, only 5 percent of the CIOs surveyed think it is a leading class capability in their IT organization. “The results show a significant gap between information technology capabilities and business expectations in several areas, including innovation and cybersecurity,” states Patrick Laurent, Partner and Technology Leader at Deloitte Luxembourg. “To create value and keep up with changing business needs, CIOs need to develop these capabilities and enhance their own personal competencies. Moreover, it is important to network and stay in close contact with other executives, while at the same time develop and nurture their talents and teams.” Other elements CIOs mentioned to be crucial for success were the execution of technology projects (55 percent), followed by vision and strategy (nearly 50 percent).

In addition, the survey unveiled a shift in business priorities from “business performance” to “customers”, with 57 percent of chief information officers choosing “customers” as their top priority, compared to only 45 percent last year. The results are striking as only 45 percent of CIOs stated their information technology organization is involved in delivering customer experience through IT capabilities. Growth (49 percent), performance (48 percent), cost (40 percent) and innovation (35 percent) follow in the list of top five CIO priorities.

Nurture trumps nature
When it comes to shaping the CIOs legacy, IT capabilities and leadership competencies are a much bigger differentiator than personality traits. According to the survey, 75 percent of survey participants share the same personality traits, while significant differences and varying levels of maturity exist in relation to leadership competencies and IT capabilities.

Depending on the nature of business needs, CIOs might adopt and navigate between specific legacy patterns. Deloitte defines three such patterns and segmented survey respondents by means of cluster analysis: 55 percent were identified to be trusted operators, who ensure operational excellence; 11 percent belong to the group of change instigators, who enable large business transformations, while 34 percent focus on delivering to business strategy as business co-creators. The survey concludes that CIO legacies will likely be shaped by how well CIOs respond to and anticipate the needs of the business.

Navigating the digital shift
According to the Deloitte survey, CIOs and business leaders define “digital” in different ways. One group considers digital only as customer-facing, front-end tools and technologies, while others view digital as a mind-set, where technology fundamentally transforms and shapes future business models and becomes the motor for their organizations.

The digital shift often requires fundamental transformation in back-end technologies, legacy IT systems, IT culture, skills and capabilities. The full digital picture is often unperceived, as a major part of the CIOs area of expertise and control remains hidden below the water line as part of the digital iceberg,” states Patrick Laurent. “For this reason, we believe that CIOs are in a unique position to drive business transformation, harness digital disruption and become a catalyst for essential organization-wide change.”

The full version of the Luxembourg CIO survey is available on Deloitte Luxembourg's website at the following address:

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