How Torchbearer CIOs Illuminate Opportunities

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 03-24-2016 Email

With the competitive landscape seemingly shifting every week, CIOs are intensely focused on expanding IT's role as a business-impacting innovator, according to a recent survey from the IBM Institute for Business Value. The report, titled "Redefining Connections: Insights from the Global C-suite Study - The CIO Perspective," reveals that CIOs are looking to acquire tech solutions and services that will better position their organizations for greater business insights and intelligence, while boosting internal collaboration and front-office digitization. The report distinguishes CIOs into two categories: Torchbearers and Market Followers. Torchbearer CIOs are those who create an intelligent, agile culture which understands the needs of customers, while "rewiring" the way their organizations reason. Market Followers, in contrast, lag behind in these areas, and work for organizations which are generally considered less financially successful. Torchbearer CIOs are also much more likely to pursue new partnerships to exploit developing tech—a strategic reality that creates both opportunities and risks. "CIOs … see industry convergence as a double-edged sword," according to the report. "On the upside, it's creating completely new opportunities for growth by shifting the focus from standalone products and services to cross-sector experiences that meld the digital and physical realms. On the downside, it's exacerbating competition, because rival enterprises can threaten an organization's core business as they expand into adjacent spaces." More than 1,800 global CIOs took part in the research.

Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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