Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 72 | Page 40

The role of the CIO is evolving with an increased focus on unlocking customer connections through service innovation , according to the 2021 Global CIO Survey from Logicalis , a global provider of IT solutions . Industry pundits , share insights of what these changes mean to the IT organisations they lead and the impact of the innovations they are bringing to their organisations .

In a recent study from Logicalis , which questioned 1,000 CIOs from around the world , it was revealed that there is a shift in the role of the CIO with the majority of respondents stating innovation , operational efficiency and customer experience as their top priorities .

Over the last 12 months , there has been a notable shift in the defining aspects of the CIO role , with most respondents in the poll noting a significant increase in the time they now spend on innovation ( 79 %), strategic planning ( 77 %) and productivity ( 62 %). This is a stark contrast to previous years , where the majority of CIOs reported a lack of time to spend on both innovation and strategic planning .
CIOs are now tasked with revolutionising business infrastructures to tackle the modern world and increasingly digitally based interactions . Customers now expect to engage with businesses digitally as standard and as a result , companies need to innovate to redefine and elevate their customer interactions to stand out from the competition .
Toby Alcock , CTO , Logicalis , said : “ Digital experience has become one of , if not the most , important way to reach , connect and communicate with customers in the new digital age . The ability to provide an optimal digital experience will determine the future of an organisation . To deliver the digital experience , businesses should overhaul their infrastructure and leverage evolving technologies to interrogate the end-to-end digital customer journey . By being in closer proximity to customers , CIOs can ensure they can keep up with the needs and demands of the modern customer .”
Santhosh Rao , Senior Research Director , Analyst , Gartner , said the role of the CIO continues to be central and in mature markets , the industry is seeing new roles emerge which are in some sense parallel to what the CIO does such as chief digital officer who are championing Digital Transformation activities . “ They are also supported by the CIO in some ways . In the Middle East , the CIO is viewed as the forefront in Digital Transformation , although some leading organisations are beginning to create new roles ,” he said .
Rao noted that the role of the CIO continues to be very influential in the general direction that the organisation wants to take , from a technology standpoint , which technologies to invest in and how they best align to business outcomes , more specifically creation of new revenue opportunities and optimising existing processes .
“ That said , I believe the number one challenge post- COVID is the whole remote work and hybrid model situation . This is something that a lot of CIOs had to work on an urgent basis ,” he said . “ Most CIOs have figured it out and are past that now and have built an infrastructure that has adapted to this new norm . The ever green and perennial challenge that a lot of CIOs face here are the cybersecurity risks . They continue to re-evaluate that every year , while working with security teams and risk and compliance teams to ensure that there are no gaps in the architecture and process .”
Ashvin Kamaraju , Global Vice President , Engineering and Cloud Operations , Thales Cloud Protection and Licensing , said there is no doubt that the pandemic altered the industry ’ s perspectives on technology , work , life and society .

The evolving role of the CIO

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