The Ever-Evolving Role of CIOs: A Look at Gartner’s CIO Agenda Survey 

Gartner’s CIO Agenda Survey 2018: Quick Take  

Right at the beginning, the role of a CIO was of that developing and managing plans on how information is accumulated, organized, stored, transacted, and analyzed in an organization. Moving on, they were the sole custodians of technology in the enterprise. But as the ‘information’ is becoming increasingly important in the global economy, the role of the CIO is also changing along with the skillset required to do the job. According to Gartner, the CIO today is not only spearheading IT and all its functions, but essentially acting as a business partner and contributing to the organization’s business strategy.

Read: Deliberating the Modern Business Experience: CIO Pakistan Hosts A Business OpenFloor Soirée

According to, one of the main reasons the role of CIO has significantly changed is because the power has shifted away from IT and in to the hands of the end users. This is regardless of whether they are end users or employees of an organization. Once upon a time, the CIO barely interacted with the CEO or the C-Suite. The CIOs had little or no say on the running of the business. This has changed dramatically in organizations overtime. CIOs now play a much more prominent part in the working of the business. However, there is still a large room for improvement here, at least from a local perspective.

Gartner recently released their Annual global survey of CIOs, and the firm noted that the role of CIO has indeed shifted dramatically. According to the 2018 Gartner CIO Agenda Survey, the role of the CIO has transitioned from delivery executive to business executive. Another notable change is from a CIO being a cost controller to being more focused on engineering processes.

The survey was compiled from 3,160 global CIOs from across 98 countries and a variety of industry verticals. 95% of CIOs expect their jobs to change or be remixed due to digitalization. Additionally, respondents also believed that the two biggest transformations in the CIO role will be becoming a change leader, followed by assuming increased and broader responsibilities and capabilities.

Read: The New CIO: Chief “Information.. urm What” Officer?

Andy Rowsell-Jones, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, said:

“The CIO’s role must grow and develop as digital business spreads. Disruptive technologies, including intelligent machines and advanced analytics, reach the masses. Much greater emphasis is being placed on attaining a far broader set of business objectives. However, delivery still remains part of the job.”

Major Findings

The survey finds that CIOs highlighted cybersecurity and artificial intelligence as two key trends. These are marked as indicators on how they approach their job in the future.

Read: DIB Opts for TPS IRIS Omni Channel Payment Platform & Prepaid Cards Management Solution

The most challenging things for CIO to implement according to the survey are artificial intelligence, followed by digital security and Internet-of-Things. Further talking about how the role of CIO is evolving Mr. Rowsell-Jones said,

Today, CIO success is not based on what they build, but the services that they integrate. The IT organization will move from manufacturer to buyer, and the CIO will become an expert orchestrator of services. The real finding though is that this is happening now, today. CIOs must start scaling their digital business and changing their own jobs with it now.”