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IDC experts explain how the role of the CIO is set to change

IDC experts explain how the role of the CIO is set to change

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With the growing digitalization of consumers causing CIOs to change their priorities, they are expected to take over new areas of responsibility that are business critical. Natalia Vega, Country Manager of IDC Chile and Peru, said: “The role of the CIO is crucial in helping companies grow and develop, and the CIO and his team are required more than ever to be cohesive with other areas of the business.”

Natalia Vega, Country Manager of IDC Chile and Peru

The role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is changing as technology becomes more intertwined with business objectives, while companies have to be prepared to quickly adapt to unpredictable conditions and market changes.

The pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated Digital Transformation, which is why IDC expects that 42% of Latin American companies will receive 25% of their income from digital products, services and experiences. And this is how the growing digitalization of consumers is causing both executives and CIOs to change their priorities.

The role of the CIO has evolved over the decades, with a tendency to focus on technology management, operational reliability and efficiency, and the security of systems and data. While CIOs are still expected to fulfill all these roles, some new areas of responsibility have been added that have become business critical. 

These include: security, innovation, privacy and ethics, data intelligence, Digital Transformation, sustainability, Business Continuity and resilience. CIOs will need to co-lead these efforts by co-ordinating with other departments in the organization or even partners.

“The role of the CIO is crucial in helping companies grow and develop, and the CIO and his team are required more than ever to be cohesive with other areas of the business. This is key to the success of companies as we continue to evolve towards hybrid business models,” said Natalia Vega, Country Manager of IDC Chile and Peru.

New challenges

One of the main lessons of the pandemic is that change is inevitable and technology is key for companies to be agile and quickly adapt to new circumstances. According to the IDC Latin America IT Investment Trends CIO Agenda 2022 report, 43% of Chilean companies say they will increase their IT budget in 2022, while only 6% say they will decrease it.

Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be connected at the Edge of the network and data will be relayed through fast 5G telecommunications networks back to the cloud, where analytics tools will analyze the data in real time, helping quick decision-making and adaptability. Cloud technologies provide scalability and flexibility to add or remove capacity as a business grows and pay only for what they use.

According to IDC, 27% of Chilean companies will prioritize investments in technologies that improve the customer experience, 24% will do so with spending on cloud applications, and 9% will focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI). Other priorities are security, Big Data, mobility, Software-as-a-Service, social networks and IoT.

CEOs’ top priorities for 2022 differ slightly from those of CIOs. Companies are still recovering from the impact of the pandemic and there are other global challenges affecting supply chains. Therefore, increasing productivity, increasing revenue and retaining customers remain immediate priorities.

However, improving the customer experience is a priority for both CEOs and CIOs in Latin America this year, demonstrating the greater cohesion of these areas of the organization. Consumers are more digitally savvy than ever. 

Now price is not the only factor, they plan their purchases carefully and expect the whole shopping experience to be smooth and easy. They want to be able to communicate with a brand through the channel of their choice and are looking to buy when and how they want. This means that an omnichannel approach and multiple payment options are a must.

“The main challenge for companies today is to accelerate their Digital Transformation. The company of the future will pay special attention to customer experience and trust. These are urgent priorities in an era of digital and omnichannel commerce,” said Pilar Cornejo, Senior Analyst of Enterprise Solutions of IDC Chile.

New responsibilities

Overseeing Digital Transformation is not enough, companies will also need to innovate and find new revenue streams, and for that reason CIOs are taking on new areas of responsibility. They have to make sure their technology teams and investment priorities are in line with business strategy. All the departments of the organization must be interconnected in a single ecosystem so that there are no isolated areas from the rest of the company.

It is important for CIOs to support them in recruiting, training and retaining new talent who are capable of adapting and incorporating new technological trends such as AI, cloud managed services, cybersecurity and the Metaverse, which are virtual environments where avatars share experiences through Virtual and Augmented Reality. 

According to the IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Future of Intelligence 2022 Prediction report, 60% of the Global 2000 (G2000) companies in the world will increase the use of AI and Machine Learning (ML) in all areas critical to the business, including marketing, legal, people, procurement and supply chain.

“The CIOs of the future will face the challenge of having to be 100% involved in the business strategy of their companies,” Vega added.

“They will have to: empower everyone in the organization with intelligent tools to make faster and more informed decisions; strike a balance in their work teams incorporating multidisciplinary talents; playing an advisory role to the company to indicate which new technologies to adopt; and last but not least, playing a key role in helping companies innovate by incorporating new technologies.”

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is a global leader in market intelligence, consulting services and events firm for the Information Technology, telecommunications and Consumer Technology markets.

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