Anna Frazzetto's Blog

Digital Innovations and Technology Solutions

Creativity, Security Savvy & Diversity

What You Need to Succeed as a CIO Today

On October 31, KPMG and Harvey Nash hosted a webinar to which 600+ IT and business professionals registered to hear about the complex and changing role of the CIO. Why would so many, on a Halloween Monday no less, be eager to listen? For two reasons. First, we were sharing key findings from the Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey, the world's largest IT leadership survey. Second, my KMPG co-host and our two guest speakers are pioneering thought leaders who are working to shape the digital business landscape of tomorrow:

Brad Strock, Chief Information Officer, PayPal
Javier Campos, Group Chief Technology Officer, Kantar - WPP
Lisa Heneghan, Partner & Global Head of CIO Advisory - KPMG

For those of you unable to attend, I have summarized the key themes we explored and encourage you to dive into the insights below. In addition, I am including responses to the audience-submitted questions that we didn't get to answer during the hour-long presentation. Read, reflect and let us know what you think as we work to keep this important discussion on CIO leadership active and expanding to include even more ideas and people. If the summary below has you intrigued, you are also invited to listen to the entire Webinar playback by clicking here.

First the Findings
CIO Influence and Creativity Are on the Rise - 2016 marks the year of "business influence" for CIOs as more than one-third (34 percent) report directly to the CEO. That is 10 percent more reporting into the CEO since last year and the highest that number has reached in 10 years. In addition, there was a shift away from operational priorities as CIOs focus on creating new ways of working and delivering IT solutions. It's a time of creativity and influence for CIOs.

Budgets Are Stable - While 2014 survey results had us nervous about falling budgets, 2015 and 2016 have demonstrated budget stability for CIOs worldwide.

Cyber Security Uncertainty - As the slide below shows, cyber threats are intensifying for CIOs, and many IT leaders are not feeling well prepared to deal with them. Almost a third (28 percent) of CIOs have had to respond to a major IT security or cyber-attack on behalf of their organization in the last two years. Perhaps even more eye opening is that fact that only a fifth (22 percent) of CIOs feel confident their organization is "very well prepared" to identify and respond to cyber-attacks compared to nearly a third in 2014. This lowering confidence in cyber security preparedness could mean one of two things: 1) either CIOs feel their organizations are less prepared than in years past or 2) the growing awareness of security threats has made IT leaders feel they are less prepared.

Cyber Issues Intensifying.png

Skills Shortage Is Growing - As PayPal's Brad Strock explained, "the exponentially accelerating pace for skill demand" has CIOs facing the greatest technology skills shortage since the Great Recession. According to the survey, 65 percent of CIOs believe a lack of talent will prevent their organization from keeping up with the pace of change. Strock explained that IT organizations and their leaders will need to be creative in order to adapt and look outside the normal profiles and places in order to find talent and proposed that increasing diversity (another key area examined by the survey) could be part of the answer.

Skills Shortage Growing.png

Small Uptick in Gender Diversity - The survey found that women in senior IT leadership roles rose from 6 to 9 percent in the last year. While growth is good, the panelists remarked that it is slow and not enough to address the skill shortage and diversity gaps across IT and leadership.

Project Success Is Declining - Over the last three years, the CIO Survey has recorded decreases in IT project success. Lisa Heneghan noted that the broader enterprise-wide projects, which are bigger in scope and scale, tend to be where businesses are struggling to achieve project success.

Project Success.png

Growth in Digital Strategy - In 2015, 27 percent of respondents said they had an enterprise-wide digital strategy in place. In 2016, that number rose to 35 percent. In addition, one in five businesses now reports employing a Chief Digital Officer (CDO).

Now the Answers
The only downside to great audience participation was that we couldn't answer every question during the Webinar. From the brilliant minds of the CIO Advisory team at KGMG, we present to you answers to a few of the questions we couldn't fit into the final few minutes. If you have another question or comment, share your thoughts here and we will get you an answer. We also encourage you to listen to the Webinar playback to enjoy the panelists' comments on the findings and hear additional audience questions.

Q. What do you see as the core components to a digital business strategy?
A. As with any business strategy, you must start out by understanding the context for the strategy, e.g., industry drivers, competitor positioning, customer expectations, regulatory environment. You also need to understand your own businesses' strategies, priorities and existing operating model. Then, based on a vision for how digital disruption may impact your business, you can develop a digital business strategy. In this age of disruption, it is important to challenge assumptions and think innovatively.

Q. What role does the CIO play in the Global Business Service (GBS) space providing multi-function support services?
A. The CIO plays an essential role in enabling GBS. Systems and technology often play a key role enabling effective linkages and integration between different support services and must be designed to address needs of a diverse set of stakeholders, for example, across geographies. IT has a high level of maturity in providing shared services and many of the fundamental principles applied in IT translate to other shared services. A good example is service management, where ITIL standards can be built upon to provide a basis for enterprise service management.