Congratulations, you, the CIO, have finally convinced the CEO that it’s time to make a break for the digital world. Through a combination of executive meetings, research, strategy workshops, conferences prototypes and minimum viable products, the CEO finally has a digital-first mindset and ambitious digital goals for the next three years. You won the digital business argument and now you have to deliver — big time.
“Digital business isn't a sideline anymore,” said Mark Raskino, vice president and Gartner Fellow. “CIOs must commit to help CEOs drive the scaling-up of digital business.”
CIOs need to figure out how the CEO thinks about digital business and digital transformation. The 2017 Gartner CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey looked at hundreds of responses from C-level leaders for insight on their goals for 2017 and 2018. CIOs can use this information to craft a framework for digital transformation and partner.
CEOs are concerned about growth
Despite unexpected political shifts and economic warnings, when asked about strategic priorities for 2017/2018, 58% of CEOs rank growth as No. 1. This is up significantly from 42% in 2016/2017.
What does this mean for CIOs?
CEOs are looking for enablers of growth. They see digital and information technology as key. CIOs need to assure their CEOs that technology capabilities are data-focused, platform-based, agile, user design-centric, security mindful and well-funded. This will enable them to create a technology base capable of supporting the digital transformation. Keep in mind, with growth as the driver, CEOs intend to invest heavily in technology, sales and product innovation.
“Think about product adaptation, innovation and improvement, and about profit margin improvement — for example, via pricing power — when considering how best to apply information and technology in support of growth,” said Mr. Raskino.
After growth, 31% of CEOs rated IT-related priorities as their next biggest challenge, up from 19% in 2016/2017. Within the IT category, CEOs had high-level concerns such as improving systems and investing more in technology, but there was a rise in the number of CEOs specifically mentioning digital transformation as a priority.