Digital business transformation hit the tipping point in 2018, with 46% of Indian CIOs saying that their organizations have either transformed or are in the process of transforming their business models.
According to Gartner’s annual global survey of CIOs, the role of CIOs will remain critical for organizations to embrace digital transformation.
The stage of digital transformation is shifting from experimental phase to large-scale implementation. To keep up with the pace, CIOs will have to evolve their thinking and role.
“What we see here is a milestone in the transition to the third era of IT, the digital era,” said Andy Rowsell-Jones, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.
“Initially, CIOs were making a leap from IT-as-a-craft to IT-as-an-industrial-concern. Today, 20 years after we launched the first CIO Agenda survey, digital initiatives, along with growth, are the top priorities for CIOs in 2019. Digital has become mainstream.”
AI adoption in India increased by 270% since 2015
The 2019 Gartner CIO Agenda survey finds that Indian CIOs and IT leaders count data and analytics (32%) as the emerging technology that will prove to be game changer for them in reshaping business models.
Following data and analytics, they mentioned artificial intelligence (AI) as the second technology (30%) to help them embrace digital transformation. In India, the adoption of AI has increased by 270% since 2015.
Whereas, in the same time, the adoption of 3D printing and conversational interfaces have increased by 100% and 48%, respectively.
“On the surface this looks revolutionary. However, this bump in adoption may indicate irrational exuberance instead,” said Mr. Rowsell-Jones.
“While CIOs can’t afford to ignore this class of technologies, they should retain a sense of proportion. For example, the latest batch of AI tools is yet to go through its Trough of Disillusionment.”
IT budget growth of India slows down
The steady growth in IT budget is supporting the digital business transformation. CIOs expect a rise of 2.9% in their IT budgets in 2019, which is only marginally less than budget growth rate in 2018 (3%).
By region, India is having the lead, expecting 3.9% IT budget growth in 2019. The country expected 7.4% growth in 2018. Gartner said that this slowing can be attributed to the larger macroeconomic situation concerning slow economic growth, corporate earnings and market volatility.
In Asia Pacific, organizations are expecting a 3.5% growth in their IT budget in 2019.
“Indian CIOs should use their financial resources to make 2019 a transformative year for their businesses. Stay active in the transformation discussions and invest time, money and human resources to remove any barriers to change. Organizations that fall behind in digital business now will have to deal with a serious competitive disadvantage in the future,” said Mr. Rowsell-Jones.
Cybersecurity threats to get worse
A majority of Indian CIOs said that cybersecurity issues will become an all-company issue. It is important for organizations to build a secure for digital business that can protect not only the organization but also the clients. 62% CIOs counted cybersecurity as their own responsibility.
Cyberthreats like phishing need significant behavioral changes from employees in the organization. However, Gartner said that board of directors are accountable for cybersecurity in only 9% organizations in India.
“Last year, I said that CIOs must start scaling their digital business, and they excelled,” said Mr. Rowsell-Jones.
“This year, they have to take it one step further and put their growing digital business on a stable and secure base. Success in the third era of enterprise IT hinges on a sound strategy that combines new, disruptive technologies with a rebalancing of existing investments.”
The full report “2019 CIO Agenda: Securing a New Foundation for Digital Business” is available here for Gartner clients.