IT Unprepared for a Bolder Digital Future

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 01-21-2014 Email Print this article Print

"Do it right or do it fast?" This is the dilemma that CIOs and their IT teams face today. And, for many, the answer is "Both!" This reality will reach new levels of organizational pressures in 2014, according to a new annual survey of CIOs from Gartner Inc.'s Executive Programs. Recruitment and training remain key, as CIOs and other tech managers can no longer afford to keep on team members who are passive or adverse to swift, disruptive change. Instead, IT teams must embrace this emerging dynamic with skillful anticipation and execution—and hitting on a tech-driven response more often than misfiring. "2014 will be a year of dual goals: responding to ongoing needs for efficiency and growth, but also shifting to exploit a fundamentally different digital paradigm," says Dave Aron, the Gartner Fellow who oversaw the survey project. "Ignoring either of these is not an option. CIOs are facing all the challenges they have for many years, plus a flood of digital opportunities and threats. Digitalization raises questions about strategy, leadership, structure, talent, financing and almost everything else. This is both a CIO's dream come true and a career-changing leadership challenge." Nearly 2,400 global CIOs took part in the research. For more about the survey, click here.

  • Fit to Serve?

    42% of CIOs do not believe their IT organizations have the right skills and capabilities to prepare for the future.
    Fit to Serve?
  • Fast and Furious

    51% are concerned that the "digital torrent" is arriving more rapidly than they can cope with.
    Fast and Furious
  • Onwards and Upwards

    CIOs are planning to spend 20% of their IT budget on growth and innovation, compared to 15% in 2009.
    Onwards and Upwards
  • Fair Weather

    One-quarter have already made significant investments in the public cloud.
    Fair Weather
  • Top Cloud Investment Areas

    Software as a Service: 72%, Infrastructure as a Service: 47%, Platform as a Service: 43%, Business process as a Service: 17%
    Top Cloud Investment Areas
  • Motivating Factors

    More than one-half cite agility as the primary motivation for cloud investment, and only 14% cite the need to cut costs as the top reason.
    Motivating Factors
  • Best Practices: Establish a Vision for Change

    Because of the fast pace of digital transformation, CIOs must clearly communicate to IT teams that status quo will never be an option.
    Best Practices: Establish a Vision for Change
  • Best Practices: Align Your IT Engine Room

    That would be infrastructure, operations, core apps like ERP, services and sourcing, models, and so on. All must be built for greater speed and scale. All associated vendors must be on board with enhancing—not stifling—innovation.
    Best Practices: Align Your IT Engine Room
  • Best Practices: Embrace Reverse Mentoring

    It encourages a skills growth mindset for older employees (and possibly even you), as younger staffers can introduce them to the immense possibilities of digital innovation.
    Best Practices: Embrace Reverse Mentoring
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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