What did we learn from BT’s 2016 CIO Report?

By:  Jamie Davies

BT has recently released its 2016’s CIO report, dissecting the challenges and opportunities available for enterprise organizations, and the CIO, following the mainstream adoption of disruptive digital technologies.

The 2015 edition of the report highlighted CIO’s role was shifting away from that of a technologist and operations guru, and more towards a strategic, creative and consultative one. As organizations are still identifying what digital means for their own business, the CIO is becoming ever more central in the boardroom as each enterprise continues on the path to understand how technology adoption and integration could ultimately define its success or failure.

Here, we’ve detailed a few of the lessons learnt from the 2016 report:

Security is now being dealt with

Cloud and/or cyber security has been a topic of interest throughout the industry, though there has been a difficulty in addressing the challenge as few have identified a means to do so. It would appear that as there hasn’t been a concise or even complicated answer to the security conundrum, conversations have been swept under the carpet.

Through conversations BCN has had at recent events we understand security is still a major challenge, though discussions around how to become more secure are less taboo. In general, it would seemingly appear CIO’s have accepted the idea 100% secure is never possible, but this is okay. You have to continuously evolve your security strategy to adapt to a dynamic threat environment.

The report highlights 33% of respondents believe the transition through to cloud computing will act as a catalyst to improve security throughout the organization. It would appear the implementation of cloud is forcing enterprise to deal with security – it is no longer a subject which can be put off for another day.

Cloud is no longer a choice

65% of respondents stated their current infrastructures are struggling to deal with the rapid adoption of digital technologies. There are still challenges to the adoption of a cloud model (security, legacy systems, time constraints and budget), though the CIO’s in questions realize cloud is no longer an option to become more successful, but a necessity to remain relevant.

The CIO role has changed and there’s no going back

Traditionally the role of the IT department has been to ‘keep the lights switch on’ and to ensure the business does not close down. It’s operational, it’s in the backroom and it’s all about keeping things running. Not anymore.

The operational role of IT will never disappear, but the decision making capability and the influence on the businesses strategy has been increased. In fact, 72% of the respondents believe the CIO’s standing in the boardroom has improved increased, 73% believe the boards expectations of the CIO has increased and 70% believe the board are now looking for a creative CIO, not just someone to keep everything ticking along.

A successful CIO will be able to bridge the gap between IT and the rest of the business, becoming more of a businessman as opposed to a technologist. The disruptive nature of digital technologies ensure CIO’s now have to be driven by flexibility, adaptive to new ideas, understanding of agile models and more receptive to alternative trends. This could be seen as quite a shift in what would be the current perception of a CIO.

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