- CEOs think CIOs and CTOs will be the most critical executives over the next few years, an IBM survey of 3,000 CEOs found. CEOs highlighted the technology executives at more than twice the rate of other C-suite members.
- "CIOs are helping drive innovation to break down silos across the organization and create new value streams," said Kathryn Guarini, IBM CIO, in an email. "They serve as connectors across business functions and are engaging more with the CEO to develop technology strategies that drive agility and efficiency, and, ultimately, lead to business growth."
- In a separate survey of CIOs, IBM found more than three-quarters of CIOs believe their teams played a vital role in their company's response to the pandemic.
CIO influence grew alongside the expansion of enterprise technology. The pervasiveness of technology meant companies needed more from their tech executives, moving their scope of action to more parts of the business.
Increased importance coincides with more scrutiny. Forrester projects 10% of tech execs will begin to face performance evaluations in terms of revenue by next year.
"Today, the impact and potential of these technologies on business value are being realized and technology is increasingly pervasive across every aspect of the enterprise," said Guarini. "And the CIO, responsible for ensuring these IT services run effectively, is playing a bigger role."
Technical demands of hybrid work are adding challenges, which can push more processes over to digital systems such as collaboration platforms. More than eight in 10 CIOs implemented remote work strategies. Just one-quarter say they expect remote workplace changes to linger.
Following the technology changes of the past 18 months, the onus is on CIOs to retain their position of influence, as well as their ability to deliver for the organization.
"CIOs are involved in every functional unit of an organization, connecting dots across business functions to balance and prioritize technology investments and capabilities," Guarini said. "Yet, our findings indicate a gap in communication within the walls of the technology function itself, which can have a significant impact on the ability to drive business value."
CIOs must align with other technology leaders to ensure clarity of purpose and mission, Guarini said.