Gartner CIO Survey Shows Digital Business Means Platform Business

Via Gartner Newsroom

Nov 9, 2015

Barcelona, Spain, November 9, 2015

Digital Revenue to Grow from 17 Percent in 2015 to 38 Percent of Total Revenue by 2020

For 59 Percent of EMEA CIOs, There Is a Talent Crisis

CIOs expect digital revenue will grow from 17 percent in 2015 to 38 percent of total private sector revenue by 2020, according to a Gartner, Inc. survey of 1,075 CIOs in EMEA.

"As digital deepens, it's clear that hardcoded business and operating models won't suffice," said Dave Aron, vice president and Gartner Fellow. "What's changed is that there's a shift to platform thinking. Business executives need to look at their business as a hierarchy of processes, in terms of their business models, delivery mechanisms, talent and leadership. Platform concepts need to penetrate all aspects of a business."

Mr. Aron presented the survey findings for EMEA CIOs during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015, which is taking place here until Thursday. These findings come from a worldwide survey that gathered data from 2,944 CIOs, who collectively control over $250 billion in IT budget, in 84 countries.

"The digital era requires flexible systems and structures that can swap resources in and out, and change partners based on shifting priorities," added Graham Waller, research vice president at Gartner. "Digital visionaries harness platforms to create value through connections and interactions, rather than ownership of individual resources. This creates semiporous boundaries between an organization and the resources and components outside its domain."

Figure 1: Build Platforms Throughout the Business

CIO Agenda - Platforms

Source: Gartner (November 2015)

Bimodal IT Disciplines Lead to Better Digital Performance

As a digitally disruptive decade emerges, bimodal IT is becoming real and increasing digital performance. Bimodal IT captures the platform characteristic of continuously building and refactoring capabilities for the future. "Delaying bimodal IT is the worst thing a CIO can do," said Mr. Aron.

In EMEA, 39 percent of the surveyed CIOs are on the bimodal journey, and 27 percent are planning to undertake it in the next three years. The survey showed that 13 percent of CIOs do not plan to move toward bimodal IT, and that 21 percent are unsure.

"Although bimodal IT is becoming a reality, we are finding that the bimodal tactics that are least adopted are those that have the most impactful on digital strategy performance, and vice versa," said Mr. Aron. "The survey showed that only 7 percent of EMEA CIOs who are on the bimodal journey are adopting crowdsourcing, which delivers the highest impact, while 79 percent of them are developing multidisciplinary teams, which have less impact."

Shortages of Talent and Money Are Biggest Barriers to Success for EMEA CIOs

Mr. Aron added that talent must also be treated as a platform. In EMEA, 17 percent of the CIOs said that the difficulty of finding talent was one of the biggest issues standing in the way of achieving their objectives, and 59 percent of CIOs said that there is a talent crisis. Seventeen per cent also said that money was an issue, which is strongly connected to it.

"The talent pool and talent management practices are not keeping up with the ever-increasing and changing needs of the digital world. It would be madness to think that continuing the same old human resource management practices will solve the problem," said Mr. Aron.

EMEA CIOs Are Leading Digital Transformation and Innovation Efforts

Forty-three percent of the CIOs in EMEA indicated that they are leading a digital transformation, and 33 percent identified themselves as the innovation leaders in their organizations. In EMEA, 69 percent of the CIOs have a strong partnership with their CEO.

"Not every business is ready to be a platform business, due to differing economic models, but the concept of platforms is important to all businesses — public or private sector, large or small, information-intensive or physical-asset-heavy," added Mr. Aron.

About Gartner Symposium/ITxpo

Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the world's most important gathering of CIOs and senior IT executives. This event delivers independent and objective content with the authority and weight of the world's leading IT research and advisory organization, and provides access to the latest solutions from key technology providers. Gartner's annual Symposium/ITxpo events are key components of attendees' annual planning efforts. IT executives rely on Gartner Symposium/ITxpo to gain insight into how their organizations can use IT to address business challenges and improve operational efficiency.

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