How Torchbearer CIOs Illuminate Opportunities

 
 
By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 03-24-2016 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    How Torchbearer CIOs Illuminate Opportunities
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    How Torchbearer CIOs Illuminate Opportunities

    The difference between torchbearer and market follower CIOs comes down to understanding the business and its customers—and providing ways to meet their needs.
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    Outside-In
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    Outside-In

    50% of global CIOs are preparing for an influx of new entrants/competitors from other industries, up from 42% who were doing so in 2013.
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    Top Strategic Priorities for CIOs
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    Top Strategic Priorities for CIOs

    Insight/intelligence: 85%, Front office digitization: 83%, Skills development: 80%, Internal collaboration: 73%, Enterprise integration/optimization: 73%
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    Biggest Trends Transforming Business
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    Biggest Trends Transforming Business

    Industry convergence: 63%, Rising cyber-risk: 56%, The "anywhere" workplace: 55%
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    Biggest Technologies Transforming Business
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    Biggest Technologies Transforming Business

    Mobile solutions: 71%, Cloud computing and services: 66%, Internet of things (IoT): 61%, Cognitive computing: 40%, Advanced manufacturing tech: 21%
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    Risky Business
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    Risky Business

    76% of CIOs feel that potential shortcomings in IT security is creating immense business risks, while 38% cite the possibility of regulatory compliance violations.
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    Pole Position
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    Pole Position

    90% of "Torchbearer" CIOs are focused on reaching the market first through agile innovation, compared to just 36% of "Market Follower" CIOs who are determined to do this.
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    Intelligence System
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    Intelligence System

    75% of Torchbearer CIOs use analytics to produce business insights, but only 39% of Market Follower CIOs can claim the same.
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    Consumer Research
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    Consumer Research

    75% of Torchbearer CIOs are identifying new customer segments, while just 44% of Market Follower CIOs are doing so.
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    Building Bridges
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    Building Bridges

    70% of Torchbearer CIOs acknowledge they must form partnerships to exploit emerging tech, as opposed to only 56% of Market Follower CIOs who do.
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    Skills of the Future
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    Skills of the Future

    91% of Torchbearer CIOs are increasing their investment into developing IT skills required for the future, but just 77% of Market Follower CIOs are doing the same.
 

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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