Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 53 - Page 55

CIO OPINION they will fall behind their competitors and new , fleet-offoot digital natives . Take the financial services sector , for example – almost 90 % of global firms fear losing revenue to FinTech challengers , says consultant PWC .
It ’ s a similar story from media and manufacturing to retail and e-commerce : CIOs must keep one eye on their competitors and another on digital innovation to avoid seeing market share being eroded . To stay one step ahead , CIOs must put technology innovation at the heart of their strategic roadmaps .
Those looking for further commitment and cash from their executive sponsors should look to lessons learnt during the Coronavirus pandemic . At the business ’ hour of need , it was CIOs and their quickly enacted Digital Transformation plans that kept businesses operational .
Two-thirds ( 67 %) of CIOs said demand for new digital products and services had increased from a year ago , with even more respondents ( 83 %) anticipating an increase through 2021 , reports Gartner . Nine out of 10 top performers pursue digital channels and almost three-quarters introduce digital products faster .
Senior stakeholders across the business – even those who might once have doubted the power of Digital Transformation – have been impressed with IT chiefs and their use of technology . Gartner analyst Andy Rowsell-Jones refers to the past 18 months as ‘ a watershed moment ’ for CIOs , suggesting there ’ s no going back to how things were before .
Yet despite all these successes , the game is far from won . Digital Transformation has been a priority at extreme times , but it can ’ t afford to fall back behind more mundane concerns as economies and societies recover .
Consultant McKinsey says companies that invested in innovation during past crises delivered superior growth and performance afterwards . Take the 2009 financial crisis – organisations that maintained their innovation focus emerged stronger , outperforming the market average by more than 30 % and continuing to deliver accelerated growth over the following five years .
In the aftermath of the 2009 crisis , CIOs played a crucial role , using nascent cloud developments and consumerisation to support growth . Now , CIOs must step up to the plate again – and this time they have an even better opportunity to drive change , due to technology being the underlying plumbing for every successful business .
Through the rest of this year and into the next , CIOs must work as the board ’ s trusted confidante .
To push digital innovation to the centre of business strategies , CIOs must take a much more radical approach to the adoption of new technologies .
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