CIOs are transforming as companies prioritize security risks and customer centricity

CIOs are transforming as companies prioritize security

The CIO role is transforming as organizations strive to be customer-centric in an environment of increased risk and aim to make a success of digital. Now in its 20th year, the Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey 2018 is the largest IT leadership survey in the world, with just under 4,000 responses from CIOs and technology executives across 84 countries.


Director, Marketing

KPMG in Romania


In this year’s survey, we see the CIO role continue to change as organizations themselves are forced to transform. Traditional focus areas like data privacy and security are more important than ever but in order to remain competitive, IT leaders must turn the risks associated with utilising customer data into enablers for driving new revenue growth. Indeed the report shows that those managing the balance most effectively, with the customer at the heart of their digital strategy, are significantly more profitable.

While making a success of digital is proving tough, and affected by an ongoing skills shortage, successful IT leaders are proving resilient and adaptable, and the CIO remains vital in helping their organization to navigate a digital future.

“If only a couple of years ago the main focus of the companies in coping with shortage of skilled personnel was towards third parties/ outsourcing companies, now we can see new trends and new solutions: CIOs and executives alike are talking about digitalization and automation of their processes that will cover the lack of personnel and speed up execution of tasks” observes Gabriel Mihai Tanase, Director of KPMG Cyber & Technology team in Romania. 

The study revealed that the organisations that are making a success of digital are firmly putting the customer at the heart of their strategies and finding ways to link technology investment to the overall profitability of their transformational goals: 61% of organisations that are effective at using digital technologies see higher revenue growth than their competition.

“I think it is pretty clear by now that any digital strategy will fail unless an appropriate organizational culture is in place” says Gheorghe Vlad, Senior Manager of KPMG in Romania’s Cyber & Technology department. “Both CIOs and CEOs need to pay close attention to having both the right people and the right organization culture in order to create an environment for innovation” he continues. “Even more, the workforce of tomorrow will see robots and smart machines working together with talented people, and this will be the key enabler of the 4th industrial revolution,” Vlad concludes.

Another topic of KPMG and Harvey Nash survey was to assess how the CIOs are managing technology in an ever challenging world as it is clear that they have a difficult road ahead every day. On one side executive management is asking them to promote and enable innovation and creativity (both within their own teams and in the organization as a whole) while on the other side, the IT leaders have to cope with request for due diligence reports on security, data integrity and resilience.

The survey showed that executives all over the world acknowledge the importance of an effective cyber security strategy: the majority of our respondents (68%) reported that their boards are supporting them in their cyber security strategies. “Is this a result of the last year viral cyber-attacks or is it a natural trend due to continuous evolution of digitalization and automation?” asks Gabriel Tanase. “Only time will tell” he continues. “What we see in the market, and our survey confirms it, is that cyber security is here to stay and should not be seen as a show stopper when it comes to innovation, but rather a roommate, working together hand in hand” he concludes.

Some of the key findings include:

  • Customer-centric organizations are 38 percent more likely to report greater profitability than ones that are not 
  • Making a success of digital is proving complex with almost eight in ten CIOs (78 percent) feeling that their digital strategy is only moderately effective or worse 
  • CDOs are proving their worth. Organizations with a CDO, either in a dedicated or acting role, are over twice as likely to have a clear and pervasive digital strategy than those without one (44 percent versus 21 percent).
  • Almost a quarter (23 percent) more respondents than in 2017 are prioritizing improvements in cyber security as cyber-crime threats reach an all-time high, however only a fifth feel well prepared for a cyber attack
  • Security and resilience skills see the biggest jump in skills shortages (increasing 25 percent year-on year), but big data and analytics remains the number one skill in short supply for the fourth year in a row
  • Female IT leadership continues on a slow upward trend, this year reaching 12 percent (up from 10 percent last year) and women represent just one in five on technology teams
  • Investment in shadow IT continues to grow, with 44 percent of organizations now having at least 10 percent of their IT spend outside the control of the CIO. Embracing this trend may be key to success.
  • Cloud investment continues to grow with 70 percent reporting significant or moderate spend, closely followed by mobile solutions (57 percent). Investment in newer digital technologies is increasing but still relatively small in comparison.

©2024 KPMG România S.R.L., o societate cu răspundere limitată de drept român, membră a organizației globale KPMG, compusă din societăți membre independente afiliate KPMG International Limited, societate privată engleză cu raspundere limitată la garanții.  Toate drepturile rezervate.

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