CIO Agenda 2019: Digital Maturity Reaches a Tipping Point

October 16, 2018

Contributor: Kasey Panetta

Digital business has moved from an experiment to mainstream.

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With a goal of enrolling 300,000 students by 2022, a northeast U.S. university needed to focus on scaling digital initiatives. And the school isn’t alone. Digital initiatives topped the list of priorities for CIOs in 2019, with 33% of businesses now in the scaling or refining stages of digital maturity — up from 17% last year. Digital initiatives are the top priority for 2019. Only 4% of organizations have no digital initiative at all, which signals a shift from digital as an option to digital as a mainstream platform.

Gartner CIO Agenda for 2019 shows that digital maturity has reached a tipping point.As businesses move to scale their digital initiatives, they’re focusing on three areas to support customer engagement:

  • Volume — especially the ability to handle demand volatility and peak demand cost-effectively
  • Scope — the ability to support a wide range and dynamic mix of products and services reliably
  • Agility — the ability to respond to changes in consumer tastes and demands in terms of channels and features with short lag times

To prepare to scale their education initiatives, the university moved about 75% of its IT operations to the cloud with a goal of 100% in 2019. It also transferred 1,700 classes to a new learning management system. The digital initiatives have given the university a 60% market reach. Supporting scale has led to inevitable changes in business models as organizations shift how they create, deliver and capture value.

In fact, 49% of CIOs report their enterprises have already changed their business models or are in the process of changing them. For the university, the team is digitalizing student processes from enrollment to course completion to reduce program costs and timelines, with an eye on digital disruption they’ve seen in other industries.


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