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May 20, 2015

CIOs fear losing market share to more tech ‘adept’ rivals

Large companies are struggling the most when it comes to digital disruption.

By James Nunns

Many organisations are struggling to manage digital innovation, with a lack of digital strategy and a shortage of skills being the main issues.

The number one skill that is required is that of big data analytics which is six times higher in demand than change management.

Digital disruption has been reported by 66% of CIOs as a very significant change to their business, driving them to create new business models and to bring new products and services to market faster than before.

Large companies are struggling the most, with 17% saying that they’ll do much better than competitors in managing the disruption while 35% of small organisations state the same.

Albert Ellis, CEO of Harvey Nash Group, said: "What’s most striking about the results is the speed of change. In the seventeen years we have conducted the survey we have never seen a new role grow so quickly as we have the Chief Digital Officer."

"We have never seen demand for a skill to expand so quickly as we have for big data analytics. As technology increasingly becomes focused on the customer, the IT, marketing and operations teams are working together in new ways."

"Sometimes it creates friction, uncertainty and skills challenges, but for a CIO with the influence, connections and technical ability to bring it all together, it’s an exciting place to be."

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Findings from the study show that the role of the Chief Digital Officer is growing in importance, with 17% of CIO’s now working with one, a growth of 10% from the previous year.

To fill the skills gap, CIO’s (50%) are increasingly using outsources to supplement skills that they can’t find in-house, with only 25% of CIO’s looking to outsource to save them money, this suggest an evolving role for outsourcers.

One of the issues facing IT, is the lack of women in IT leadership roles, this was found to be down 2% from 2013 with the number now standing at only 6%.

Lisa Heneghan, Head of EMA CIO Advisory, KPMG in the UK, said: "CIOs are concerned that they could lose significant market share to competitors more adept at using technology, yet despite this threat, three in four still don’t have a company-wide approach to digital. Unless CIOs cement this vision, the chance of being overtaken appears a foregone conclusion."

"To get ahead CIOs need to focus on defining their operating model to support a digital business now, and driving through the cultural shift which is fundamental to success."

Another issue that remains is that of cyber security, with 25% of CIO’s reporting that their companies had to deal with major security incidents in the past 12 months. Despite this concern, only 23% stated that they are very well prepared, a reduction of 6% from the previous year.

The Harvey Nash CIO Survey was undertaken in association with KPMG and represents the views of 3,691 technology leaders, with a combined IT spend of over $200bn.

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