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Aligning Technology with Business Outcomes

Historically, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) role was considered the leader of enterprise Digital Transformation initiatives. The belief was based on the notion that the primary skill set required was Technology expertise.

However, IDC now predicts that the focus has shifted to Business expertise, talent development, and digital growth strategy.

This revelation is just one of IDC's predictions for 2023, and beyond.

Digital Transformation Market Development

CIOs who demonstrate a mix of strategic purpose and people skills can now co-lead with their business counterparts -- to demonstrate and align new technologies for sustainable business outcomes.

"In this new world, the role of the CIO has evolved to be one that is a digital business enabler using technology to compete," said Linus Lai, chief analyst at IDC A/NZ.

IDC's top CIO Agenda predictions are as follows:

Chief Business Technology Officer: By 2026, 60 percent of CIOs will find their roles being challenged by LOB counterparts who can better demonstrate the ability to align technology with the organization’s mission and customers.

Dream Team: By 2025, 50 percent of CIOs will increase their reach and impact by effectively governing pervasive IT, spanning LOBs and ecosystem partners, and optimizing services from the best contributors.

Operating Model: To address the increasing volatility of market and customer needs, by 2026, 50 percent of CIOs will use an operating model design to optimize value stream, agile architecture, and risk management.

Resilience: By 2024, 40 percent of CIOs will actively harness resilience capabilities as a competitive advantage to deliver financial, supply chain, ecosystem, and sustainability differentiation.

Deep Automation: Through 2025, only 30 percent of CIOs will achieve a truly intelligent enterprise that blends AI/ML and deep automation, with speed and scale to monetize changing business environments.

Human–Machine: To cope with skills shortages, labor needs, and work that is beyond human abilities, by 2026, 50 percent of CIOs will broadly augment critical systems with embedded intelligence and automated technologies.

AI Efficacy: By 2025, 60 percent of CIOs will rely more on operational data and information collected on the edge as businesses look to act on multiple-source real-time data for faster decision-making.

Social Media: By 2026, 40 percent of CIOs will be tasked with using technology ethically to gain insights into employee experience and their perceptions of the company's offerings and enable them to amplify the brand.

Sustainability: Through 2027, 80 percent of CIOs will provide governance in selecting clean information technology, holding partners accountable, and managing systems with sustainability metrics.

IT Budget: By 2026, with 40 percent or more of IT spending "as-a-service," the use of short-duration Capex cutting tactics will be constrained, instead requiring lasting Opex resets of 10 percent to 30 percent in software and resources.

These predictions are discussed in greater detail in the new IDC FutureScape report.

Outlook for Digital Transformation Buyer Enablement

The co-leadership of these transformation projects can become a significant challenge for legacy IT vendors that have developed relationships exclusively with their customer IT organization.

A vendor's perspective that an IT organization is the sole buyer is obsolete. In contrast, informed management consultants and savvy systems integrators already reject this false assumption.

Now, all vendors must change and learn how to evolve their go-to-market approach, in order to effectively participate in the Everything-as-a-Service public and private multi-cloud environment.

That said, the vendor transition to modern buyer enablement is difficult to accomplish when sales and marketing teams are very product-centric. The business outcome journey can be complicated.

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