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November 12, 2014

Only quarter of EMEA CIOs embrace digital business

Old style command and control leadership is an obstacle, says Gartner.

By Ben Sullivan

Figures just in from Gartner’s Barcelona symposium claim that only 24% of CIOs in the EMEA region fully embrace the digital business way of working. This leaves the remaining three quarters in a position where they have to ‘change their leadership style’.

The stats are drawn from a survey of 1,034 CIOs in EMEA, reiterating Gartner’s line that command and control leadership doesn’t suit the digital world.

Dave Aron, VP and Gartner Fellow, thinks that command and control leadership can even be an obstacle.

He said: "Vision and inspiration are typically the most powerful attributes of digital leaders. CIOs must accept to flip from ‘control first’ to vision first. In EMEA, 65 per cent of CIOs said that they need to decrease their time on commanding IT, while 45 per cent of them said they need to increase their visionary leadership."

Aron and Lee Weldon, research director at Gartner, presented the findings which were part of the worldwide survey of 2,810 CIOs, representing more than $397 billion in CIO IT budgets in 84 countries, during the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2014, which is taking place in Barcelona until Thursday.

"CIOs must make time for leadership," said Graham Waller vice president and executive partner for Gartner Executive Programs.

"We found that CIOs with higher performance as IT leaders appoint a deputy responsible for running the whole IT shop day to day.

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"This gives them an extra 5 per cent of time (a day per month), to engage with the board, senior leadership and external customers. In EMEA, 51 per cent of CIOs have such a deputy."

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