CIOs: Break Through Culture Barriers to Enable Digital Transformation

Many CIOs see culture as a barrier to scaling digital transformation, but culture can be an enabler.

Although 64% of CIOs perceive culture as a barrier to achieve their digital ambitions, 25% perceive culture as an enabler, according to Gartner research.

Change is the new normal.

The right culture is one of the most important requirements to achieve digital transformation. Gartner predicts that by 2021, CIOs will be as responsible for culture change as chief HR officers.

The graphic shows the existence of culture barriers in organizations. 64% of CIOs perceive culture as a barrier to achieve their digital ambition. 25% perceive culture as an enabler.

Attributes that may be culture barriers for some are, in fact, enablers for others. These attributes include the leader’s tone at the top, management style and level of employee engagement.

CIOs can use the following tactics to turn those attributes from barriers into enablers for achieving digital culture change:

  • Change the conversation away from culture as a barrier toward culture as an enabler. Just the way in which culture is discussed will start to change it
  • Be more specific about the desired culture change. Culture is the mindset and practices that shape behavior. Manage employees toward those new mindsets and practices.
  • Design a roadmap for culture change to address long-term goals.

Gartner CIO Leadership Forum 2020

Continue your leadership journey

Learn More

Gartner clients can read more in “Survey Analysis: CIOs Must Engage in Culture Change for Digital Business Success” by Christie Struckman, et al. More information on digital leadership can be found in the Gartner Featured Insight research collection “Scaling Digital Leadership,” a collection of research that explores the dimensions of leadership that will help CIOs scale — personally and as an organization — to produce a sustained return on technology investment.

Get Smarter

Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo™

Hone leadership skills, refine strategies and discover the innovative tech to power your digital transformation.

Explore Gartner CIO Conferences

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak: Short- and Long-Term Actions for CIOs

COVID-19 has disrupted operations and will have prolonged impacts on continuity of operations, modes of working and growth patterns. CIOs need to respond to the crisis with both short- and long-term actions to increase resilience against future disruptions and prepare for rebound and growth.

Read Free Gartner Research


Get actionable advice in 60 minutes from the world's most respected experts. Keep pace with the latest issues that impact business.

Start Watching