The Evolving Role of Today’s CIO: More Strategic, Complex and Critical

Today’s CIO role is much more complex and demanding than even a couple of years ago, with CIOs involved in enterprise-wide decisions that go far beyond technology.

Just how much has changed? Lenovo commissioned a global study of over 500 global CIOs to find out. Their responses indicated a sea change in the role of CIO, with increased influence and responsibilities.

Universally, CIOs say that their roles have expanded beyond technology to include numerous non-traditional areas, such as sustainability; diversity, equality, and inclusion; talent acquisition; and even sales and marketing.

A Swift, Seismic Change

This shift itself is not entirely surprising; several respondents pointed out that by the nature of their role, CIOs are uniquely positioned to align the business strategy with the technology roadmap. What was unexpected was the speed with which the role changed from technology-focused to business-critical.

What accelerated this evolution? As the pandemic swept the global economy over the past couple of years, digital transformation and innovation accelerated at an unprecedented rate. Coupled with a more sophisticated security threat landscape, the role of the CIO evolved and expanded dramatically

Now CIOs are ‘mission control’ for their organizations. From navigating complex tech ecosystems to keep up with the speed of digital transformation, to upskilling employees and managing a global shortage of IT talent, CIO now are responsible for the entire technology value chain and beyond.

Is the Organization’s Technology Keeping Up?

Today, technology is the nervous system that connects corporate strategy, finance, innovation, operations, and talents. With IT enmeshed in every facet of a business, almost all CIOs say it is extremely important or very important that their organizations have the right technology to ensure success. And yet, most also feel that their current tech stacks are not where they should be. Given a chance to reboot from scratch, 57% say they would replace half or more of their company’s current technology; and a full 25% would replace all of it.

Not surprisingly, they are turning to their vendor partners to help develop and execute increasingly sophisticated strategies. Nearly all (92%) view their tech vendors as “most important” or “very important” to their organizations operating effectively. Specifically, they are relying on their vendors to increase their organizational agility; provide network and operational security; simplify the configuration, deployment, and maintenance of their systems; and optimize their costs. All of which are at the very heart of almost every organization.

Solving for the Increased Complexity

And yet, with so many vendors and solutions in the market, even choosing the right offerings can be complicated and challenging.

For this reason, one of the fastest growing consumption models in the market is “As-a-Service,” whereby companies pay for the technology they need—and only what they need—on a usage basis. Subscription models like Lenovo’s TruScale offer the added flexibility of scaling up or down as the customer’s needs change, providing critical flexibility and agility. This “true scalability” solves for many of the challenges CIOs are facing. It’s no surprise, then, that 92% of CIOs say they would definitely or probably consider adding new as-a-Service offerings over the next two years.

The Right Partner is Key to Success

In summary, the CIOs are facing complexity on all fronts: in the scope of their roles; in the demands on their organizations’ technology; and in the choices available in the marketplace. Which means that today, trusted vendor partnerships, and customizable, scalable solutions are critical to their success—and the success of their organizations.

Learn More: https://techtoday.lenovo.com/ww/en/cio-insights