Executive Summary

Welcome to this year’s CIO Survey, the world’s largest survey on technology leadership. Whether you are a CIO, CTO, CDO or any other executive who cares about business technology, this report shines a bright light on the key issues that affect all of us in the technology sector.

CIO Survey 2019 - 8 things you need to know

A time of massive change

Forty-four per cent of organisations expect to change their product/service offering or business model in a fundamental way in the next three years. This is driven by digital disruption and the need to get closer to the consumer, and it’s occurring just as much with smaller, younger organisations as with larger, older ones.

A sizeable proportion are handling transformation within existing budgets without extra investment. As the average life expectancy of a company decreases, transformation is becoming business as usual as enterprises look to stay ahead of the game.

Biggest budget increases for 15 years

This year we have seen the largest proportion of organisations increase their investment in technology in all the years we have been tracking it. Even with enterprises where the emphasis is on efficiency and saving money, investment in technology is increasing. Whatever the problem, technology seems to be part of the answer.

The driving force behind much of this investment is cyber security, data analytics, AI / automation, and transformation.

Technology doesn’t stop evolving

Organisations are continuing to invest in new and emerging technology. At the far end of the ‘emerging’spectrum, one in twenty are making bets on quantum computing.

Much closer to home, cloud computing has become prevalent, with over three-quarters of organisations investing in this area and almost half adopting it on a wide scale. At least one-fifth of organisations have at least a small-scale implementation of internet of things, on-demand platforms, robotic process automation and artificial intelligence.

Up to one in five jobs will go to robots

Typically, respondents believe around 10 per cent of their company’s workforce will be replaced within five years by AI / automation, but for a third of respondents that figure goes up to 20 per cent. Those organisations not investing in AI and automation can expect, over time, for their cost base to be relatively higher than their AI-investing competitors.

Over two-thirds of CIO Survey respondents believe that new jobs will appear to compensate. AI will allow employees to engage in richer interactions with others and perform work that requires more brainpower. The world is not short of problems to solve.

Relentless rise of cyber-crime levels out?

We’ve been tracking for many years how cyber-crime has been growing, and confidence in dealing with the threat declining. This year we see for the first time the incidences level out,and confidence growing. The trend is very subtle, and runs counter to other studies.

However the CIO Survey’s breadth and size hints this is more than a‘quirk’ in the data and suggests the major investment we’ve been tracking in cyber might be working. At last?

The rise of business-managed IT

Almost two-thirds of organisations allow business-managed IT investment, and approximately one in ten actively encourage it. Business-managed IT requires a new relationship between business and IT, and those that get it right are much more likely to be significantly better than competitors in a whole host of factors, from customer experience to time to market.

But getting it wrong opens up a backdoor to problems – organisations where the CIO is not directly involved in business-managed IT investment are twice as likely to have multiple security areas exposed. 

A new model of digital leadership

Digital Leaders, those 30 percent of organisations which are ‘very or extremely effective at using digital technology to advance their business strategy’, perform better than their peers on a whole host of factors.

They distinguish themselves in many ways: the board and CEO prioritise value creation rather than efficiencies; the technology leader / CIO is more likely to sit on the executive team and be collaborative with the business; and there is a relentless focus on speed and agility.

Ready for disruption: the CIO 

2019 has been a good year to be a technology leader. Job fulfilment is up (slightly), budgets have grown,salaries have been raised. But as technology is disrupting sectors, so too is it disrupting the role of the technology leader. Executive board membership,for instance, is down. And an explosion in new job titles and roles has occurred, from Chief Digital Officer to Chief Data Officer and beyond.

Successful leaders are swapping control for influence, and stepping up how they partner with the business. For many organisations the concept of a ‘traditional’ IT department is anathema to them. 




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About the CIO Survey

The Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey is the world’s largest study of IT leadership.

From careers to digital strategies, from managing IT to executing projects, the report covers the key topics that affect IT leaders and organisations across the world.
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