14 May 2013
CIOs are expected to deliver higher levels of business value. CEOs see expanded role for IT but believe IT is still struggling with fundamentals.
The 2013 Gartner CEO and Senior Executive Survey found that 32 per cent see themselves as aggressive adopters of business and IT innovation while 31 per cent see themselves as ‘fast followers’.
A large number of Asia Pacific CEOs see their organisations as ‘pioneers’ or ‘fast followers’ in adopting business- and IT-led innovation, according to a recent survey by Gartner. The 2013 Gartner CEO and Senior Executive Survey found that 32 per cent see themselves as aggressive adopters of business and IT innovation while 31 per cent see themselves as ‘fast followers’. This desire and intent to leverage technology better is tempered by some head winds, as CEOs acknowledge that they have IT departments that are still struggling with getting the basics right.
The Gartner CEO and Senior Executive Survey of more than 390 senior business leaders in organizations worldwide with annual revenue of $250 million or more was conducted between October and December 2012. Of those, 78 were from the Asia Pacific region including Japan.
“It is interesting that the Asia Pacific region, long seen anecdotally as more conservative in leveraging technology and driving innovation, has overtaken the global average of CEOs (26 per cent) who describe their company cultures as being pioneering in the adoption of innovation,” said Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst Partha Iyengar. “This means a larger number of CEOs than we would anecdotally expect are willing to take risks in the adoption of technology to get first-mover advantage. Half of them are focusing on creating a ‘digital strategy’ for their enterprises.”
Focus on Growth
Gartner’s 2013 CEO and senior executive survey paints a picture of a region that is focused and optimistic about growth prospects, even in light of uncertain economic conditions.
An overwhelming 69 per cent of CEOs say that their plans for investment and growth in 2013 and 2014 are fairly clear and strong despite uncertain economic conditions. CEOs are targeting different customer requirements, new technology-driven capabilities and new geographies. Increasing investment areas in 2013 are product enhancement, IT and marketing.
“This is a scary message in that, even as they expect IT to deliver differentiated business value, they believe that IT is still struggling with the fundamentals.”
There is also an expectation of an expanded role for IT in supporting this growth. CEOs foresee an 11 per cent increase in the presence of the CIO role within their enterprises by the end of 2014. This is accompanied by an almost identical drop (12 per cent) in the “head of IT” title within enterprises, possibly signifying that CEOs intend to elevate this role to full CxO status, with a seat at the executive table. Additionally, 31 per cent of CEOs see themselves taking on a more direct role in technology-related issues, in addition to the CIO.