- Digital transformation leadership falls under the CIO office at 58% of companies, according to a survey of 1,010 CIOs conducted by Tata Consultancy Services. At three-quarters of organizations, the CIO participates in the ideation and strategy of digital transformation.
- Six in 10 CIOs say they have assumed leadership roles in governance of digital transformation strategies. Another 54% say they're tasked with leading project management.
- Even though CIOs are often in charge of leading the initiatives, CEOs set the digital transformation budgets at 35% of companies. CFOs are in charge of digital transformation budget priorities at 29% of organizations, while CIO offices bear that responsibility at 18% of companies.
With CEOs determining budget priorities, the CIO role will lead organizations as the prioritize the initiatives that can quickly deliver value ahead of an uncertain economic future.
Adjusting to the new business context, organizations look to the CIO to oversee IT infrastructure and legacy information systems at 60% of companies, according to the survey. At 57% of companies, the CIO office is entrusted with maintaining Internet of Things-related systems. Development of new systems to support existing business processes is another top CIO task at 51% of businesses.
Prior to the pandemic, most IT leaders cited tech budget increases. Transformation was an aspirational goal, and industries spent time pondering how to tie technology to business outcomes.
After COVID-19 reshaped entire industry plans, business technology priorities shifted to sustaining critical operations, reducing costs and deploying technology that could enable remote work. Quick decisions on digital transformation were made in the context of financial uncertainty, shrinking budgets and dwindling revenues.
In April, two-thirds of CFOs said they were readying budget cuts as the pandemic crunched financial outlooks, according to a PwC survey. One-quarter of finance chiefs specifically looked at downsizing digital transformation investments.
But in June, as lockdown orders eased and the initial shock of the pandemic became normalcy, one-third of finance leaders said growth drove and would sustain tech spend for the following 12 months. In this environment, it's the CIO who can convey to the organization how to strike a balance between cost-cutting and urgent modernization.