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The Changing Role of the CIO: From the periphery to the core

2019-2020 Survey Report

Want to join the conversation? Find out more about how you can participate in the 2020 Global CIO Survey.

The CIO's role is evolving as digital transformation sweeps through business


of cios spend less time on
the day-to-day
management of it than
they did in previous years

Today’s CIO is allocating only a third of their time on what was once considered the bread and butter of their role.

Change is happening.

CIOs are looking beyond technology and towards the business needs of the organisation itself; their role has greater focus on revenue and strategy.


The CIO is no longer the endpoint of a career


of cios are measured on their success of it cost reductions, compared to


last year

The findings of the research suggest that the CIO role is now one that encompasses broader executive responsibility. Rather than being the endpoint of a career path, the role is very much about building business success. 43% of CIOs are now measured on their contribution to revenue growth. In 2018, this figure was at 35%.

Conflicting pressures

cios spend


of their time on information and security compliance

While CIOs are being tasked with greater strategic responsibility, they are still dealing with conflicting pressures; among these are cybersecurity, compliance, business continuity and other large-scale projects.


Pulled in many directions


of cios have
increased their time
spent on innovation

Today’s CIO is expected to identify and leverage technology within the context of driving strategic business goals, rather than maintaining and developing infrastructure and areas such as BYOD.

45% of CIOs say their main business priority in the next 12 months is customer experience and 54% cite innovation.

Under pressure

Almost half of CIOs state that job satisfaction has decreased in the last year

Alongside the increased business responsibility, most CIOs (80%) are spending more time on building and operating digital platforms. Supporting business initiatives is an increased demand for 67% of CIOs.

CIOs seem to be pulled in two directions as they strive to retain balance with reduced budgets and higher security risks while contributing to strategy development, execution and revenue growth.



These survey results indicate that the role of the CIO has changed and is continuing to evolve as digital transformation is reshaping nearly every industry

It also represents a significant change for CIOs, given that they are no longer solely focused on maintaining and building out the IT infrastructure, but are now expected to focus on business performance at the strategic level.

Technology is central to unlocking competitive advantage and operational efficiency and as such, needs to be embraced. The survey shows that organisations must ensure that the CIO is fully supported; they need the necessary resources to carry out their job effectively to successfully meet the increasing strategy and revenue-growing demands.

To find out more about our vision for digital business, and the work we are doing to deliver it, download our Annual Review or visit our website.