Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are taking on shared leadership roles with CXOs to drive digital success, amidst budgetary constraints and transformative technologies. A recent global survey conducted by Gartner indicates that 45% of CIOs are actively collaborating with their CXO counterparts to jointly oversee IT and business units in driving enterprise-wide digital delivery.
CIOs have been instrumental in laying the groundwork for democratized digital delivery through tools like low-code platforms, which 64% have already integrated or plan to implement in the next 24 months. The emergence of Generative AI (GenAI), recognized by 70% of CIOs as a transformative technology, is poised to further extend the democratization of digital delivery beyond the IT sphere. While only 9% have presently deployed GenAI, 55% expressed intentions to integrate generative AI within the next two years.
The survey also brings to light the aspirations of CIOs, with 42% aiming to grow within their current role and 43% aspiring to expand their leadership responsibilities. Showcasing exceptional performance in achieving business results is a pivotal factor for CIOs in ascending to the next level of leadership.
Empowering digital delivery teams through franchising
Gartner’s survey identified three distinctive CIO archetypes, each influencing the pace and scale of digital delivery:
- Operators (55%): These CIOs uphold a traditional approach, retaining primary responsibility for digital delivery while partnering with CXOs as sponsors of business area digital projects.
- Explorers (33%): This cohort of CIOs has begun to involve CXOs and business unit personnel in digital delivery efforts.
- Franchisers (12%): Categorized by Gartner as franchisers, these CIOs co-lead, co-deliver, and co-govern digital initiatives with their CXO counterparts. This model encourages IT and business staff to collaborate in cross-functional teams.
Franchiser CIOs are notably more likely to meet or surpass expectations for digital outcomes. 63% of enterprise-wide digital initiatives achieve or surpass their outcome targets under a franchise model, compared to 43% under a traditional operator model. Additionally, franchisers excel in areas of general IT management, including executive leadership development and digital business strategy.
47% of franchiser CIOs believe that businesses should jointly shoulder compliance and risk responsibilities, a notable contrast to the 19% of operators who hold the same view.
Franchisers who cultivate a co-governance mindset collaborate closely with CXOs in overseeing cybersecurity and data privacy, traditionally within the purview of the CIO’s domain.
This paradigm shift in CIO roles signifies a monumental stride toward holistic and collaborative digital leadership, promising heightened efficiency and efficacy in the era of digital transformation.