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Gartner: CIOs Need to Accelerate Time to Value from Digital Investments

“A triple squeeze of economic pressure, scarce and expensive talent and ongoing supply challenges is heightening the desire and urgency to realize time to value.” -Daniel Sanchez-Reina, VP Analyst at Gartner

The most recent edition of Gartner’s massive annual survey of CIOs and technology executives confirms that how many CIOs are feeling—under pressure to quickly realize value-generating and measurable digital transformations—is indeed an industry trend. Gartner also identifies one of the key contributing factors: a disconnect between the expected pace of digital transformation and that of information technology and its ability to keep up with it—a problem which is itself driven by a tight labor market and supply chains that remain off-kilter. As this scenario evolves, the gap between the perception of business value and reality will continue to widen as technology investments struggle to deliver on expectations.

    Highlights of the survey include:

    • The growing pressure on CIOs to accelerate time to value from digital investments
    • The need to drive top- and bottom-line enterprise growth from digital investments
    • The need to deliver business outcomes that are measurably superior to those of their competitors

    “The pressure on CIOs to deliver digital dividends from their business processes and operating model is higher than ever. CEOs and boards anticipated that investments in digital assets, channels and digital business capabilities would accelerate growth beyond what was previously possible. Now, business leadership expects to see these digital-driven improvements reflected in enterprise financials. CIOs expect IT budgets to increase 5.1% on average in 2023 – lower than the projected 6.5% global inflation rate.” -Daniel Sanchez-Reina, VP Analyst at Gartner

    While CIOs are feeling pressure to accelerate their digital transformations with limited resources, Gartner has found that the direction those digital transformations are going in is often unclear. According to the survey, 95% of enterprises struggle with a vision for their digital strategy.

    To navigate this complex set of challenges, CIOs will need to be at the top of their game. So how will you find and build consensus to successfully drive digital strategy success? Through prioritization, metrics, and consensus.

      Fortunately, Gartner goes beyond illustrating how tough things are for CIOs and offers some practical, research-driven advice:

      1. Prioritize the Right Digital Initiatives – The survey revealed that CIOs’ future technology plans remain focused on optimization rather than growth. CIOs’ top areas of increased investment for 2023 include cyber and information security (66%), business intelligence/data analytics (55%) and cloud platforms (50%). However, just 32% are increasing investment in the growth-oriented areas of artificial intelligence (AI) and 24% in automation and hyperautomation.

      Whether a growth or optimization orientation is right for a particular firm will require careful consideration. Ensure that that consideration is happening and plan with an understanding of where competitors are making their bets.

      2. Create a Metrics Hierarchy – CIOs should connect with functional leaders for each digital initiative to understand what ‘improvement’ means and how it can be measured. Creating a picture that reflects the hierarchy of technical and business outcome metrics for each initiative will help identify the chain of accountability that will collectively deliver the dividend in focus.

      3. Contribute IT Talent to a Business-Led Fusion Team – 77% of CIOs said that IT employees are primarily providing innovation and collaboration tools, compared with 18% who said non-IT personnel are providing these tools. Consider loaning IT staff to fusion teams/cross functional teams that combine business experts, business technologists, and IT staff. Catalyze a team that is focused on achieving digital business outcomes, while also opening the way for reciprocity, such as integrating subject-matter experts from the business into an IT-led fusion team.

      4. Reduce the Talent Gap with Unconventional Resources – For example, only 12% of enterprises use students (through internships and relationships with schools) to help develop technological capabilities and only 23% use gig workers.

        Prep for your corporate strategy and business strategy

        • Among the C-level and board conversations, what comes up over and over? What are the most-mentioned topics? Any urgency indicators and commentary? Risks? Financial performance?
        • What is the market saying? What will be your competitive differentiation?
        • And finally, what are customers saying? What outcomes are they asking for? Time vs. effort. Growth vs. status quo. Do they have a digital-first mindset?

        Successful CIOs in the current environment and ecosystem will be the ones who orchestrate their C-level colleagues around a strategy aligned with priorities, metrics, and consensus—then deliver.

          Technology strategy – How Bluewave can help

          Are your digital transformations and programs delivering the outcomes, scale, and speed that you hoped for? If not, Gartner’s survey at least reveals that you’re not alone. It also charts a challenging course to success that will undoubtedly reward those who can navigate it.

          At Bluewave, we’re digital strategy and technology lifecycle specialists equipped to help you optimize your plan and execution. Bluewave has an advanced approach and process that can help decrease wasted spend and free up existing budget allocation so that mid-cycle reductions can be absorbed without impacting projects:

          • Single point of contact for new technology purchasing
          • Outsourcing and access to leading technology service providers
          • Reduce contract process time by 75%
          • 22% average telecom expense savings
          • 9X average ROI on TEM investment
          • Trusted extension of your team

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            If you’d like to hear in-depth about our IT strategy consulting, methodologies, benchmarking, and how Bluewave Technology Group can help you refine how you execute and manage your business goals, digital strategy, IT infrastructure and technology lifecycle, we’d love to hear from you.