How CIOs Are Adapting to Digital Transformation

Shadow IT departments, new spending patterns and other changes await CIOs whose organizations are undergoing the digital transformation.

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Digital transformation is having a profound effect on how CIOs manage their IT operations.

Most organizations are digitally enabled, at least on some level, reveals a new survey of 700 CIOs from IT and managed services provider Logicalis Group. At the bleeding edge of digital transformation, innovators or digital disrupters account for 7 percent of those polled.

Early adopters make up 22 percent and 45 percent consider themselves to be part of the early majority. Another 22 percent are in the late majority while just 5 percent are laggards, skipping the digital transformation trend altogether.

"This speaks both to the huge benefits that digital transformation brings, but also to the scale of the challenge posed by digital disrupters and early transformers – while such a rapid transformation almost certainly means big changes for CIOs and IT departments," remarked Mark Rogers CEO of Logicalis.

And as these organizations evolve, top IT executives are loosening the reins somewhat.

One of the hallmarks of a digitally-enabled enterprise is a more decentralized approach toward IT. Today, it's not unusual for line of business departments to have their own IT personnel – or so-called "shadow IT departments" -- in charge of specifically managing the applications and cloud services used by a business unit (83 percent).

Bucking conventional wisdom, CIOs seem okay with it.

Forty-one percent of CIOs said they work with shadow IT departments at least once a week while 22 percent do so daily. "The challenge for IT departments and CIOs is to find ways to support these specialists effectively, securing the infrastructure, applications and vital data without stifling the 'shadow innovation' their skills support," stated Vince DeLuca, CEO of Logicalis US.

Another challenge: data security in the cloud computing era.

Seventy-eight percent of respondents said security was a hurdle, followed by data sovereignty concerns (47 percent). Local regulations pertaining to data management and security 37 percent were another major source of concern.

As digital transformation takes hold in their organizations, CIOs are also relinquishing control over their IT budgets.

In terms of technology buying, line of business departments are increasingly bypassing CIOs. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said it happens frequently, up from 29 percent last year. Forty percent of IT leaders said that 50 percent or less of their organization's IT spending decisions rest on their shoulders.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.




Tags: IT management, CIO, digital tranformation


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