Press Release

STAMFORD, Conn., April 9, 2013 View All Press Releases

Gartner CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey Shows 52 Percent of CEOs Have a Digital Strategy

Analysts to Discuss the Survey Findings at the Gartner CIO & IT Executive Summit 2013, June 17-18, Frankfurt, Germany

Gartner Complimentary Webinar on May 7 to Examine the Survey Findings and the Implications This Will Have on IT

2013 will be a turning point year as CEOs and senior executives, by a ratio of more than four to one, plan to increase IT investment in 2013, rather than cut it, according to a recent survey by Gartner, Inc. The 2013 Gartner CEO and Senior Executive Survey found that, as macro uncertainties abate, 78 percent of CEOs now feel able to plan their 2013 and 2014 investments and growth. 

The Gartner CEO and Senior Executive Survey of more than 390 senior business leaders in user organizations worldwide was conducted between October and December 2012. Qualified organizations were those with annual revenue of $250 million or more. The survey results show that while major political and economic uncertainties obstructed business investment last year, the fog is now clearing, and digital will play a prominent role in CEOs' 2013 plans. 

"This is the year when business leadership teams must commit to investing bravely and deeply to redevelop the technology and information capability of their firms," said Mark Raskino, vice president and Gartner fellow. "After more than a decade of modest investment and sorting out the basics, it's time to think ahead. Business leaders tell us they recognize the need to invest in e-commerce, mobile, cloud, social and other major technology categories, and the capabilities they enable. That can't be done from within existing IT budgets alone." 

Gartner's CEO and senior executive survey showed that many business leaders think they have a digital strategy, as 52 percent of survey respondents said that they have a digital strategy.

"CEOs and leadership teams must crystallize what they mean by digital strategy and work with a small subgroup from the executive team to define what 'digital' means and how it manifests in the broader business strategy," said Jorge Lopez, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "They must ensure all elements of the digital strategy link clearly to the core business strategy, and that they do not form an independent, possibly distracting, program of change." 

Business leaders intend to change the mix of leadership talent needed to make that change — with chief data officers, chief digital officers and new heads of innovation on the way. The survey found that 19 percent of business leaders expect to see a chief digital officer by 2014, and 17 percent expect to see a chief data officer. 

"CIOs should embrace growing digital, data and innovation needs, and not stand back from them," said Mr. Lopez. "CIOs who intend to stay with their firms for longer than two years should be developing digital business, business information governance and innovation leadership capabilities in themselves and in their teams. CIOs who intend to retire or step back into other roles should help their organizations by incubating next-generation talent in the areas of digital media, information exploitation, and digitally enabled product and service innovation. This can be done inside as well as outside the IT department." 

"A number of organizations are already making new, very big bets in information and technology innovation that run to hundreds of millions of dollars of fresh investment," Mr. Raskino continued. "The greater risk now is assuming that your lackluster technology capability can remain a 'back burner' issue for another couple of years." 

More detailed analysis is available in the report "CEO and Senior Executive Survey 2013: As Uncertainty Recedes, the Digital Future Emerges." The report is available on Gartner's website at

Additional information is available in the Gartner Special Report "Long Range Trends, Scenarios & Planning for Business Executives & CIOs." The special report can be viewed at and includes links to reports and video commentary that examine long-view scenarios, perspectives and advice to help CIOs harness business shifts before their competitors.

Mr. Raskino will further discuss the findings of the Gartner’s annual CEO survey at the Gartner CIO & IT Executive Summit 2013, June 17-18 in Frankfurt, Germany. For more information please visit Members of the press can register for the Summit by contacting

Gartner will examine the business trends and implications for IT during the complimentary webinar, "Chief Executive Concerns and the IT Implications" on May 7 at 9 a.m. EDT and noon EDT. To register for the webinar, please visit

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading research and advisory company. The company helps business leaders across all major functions in every industry and enterprise size with the objective insights they need to make the right decisions. Gartner's comprehensive suite of services delivers strategic advice and proven best practices to help clients succeed in their mission-critical priorities. Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A., and has more than 13,000 associates serving clients in 11,000 enterprises in 100 countries. For more information, visit

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