Most CIOs in Oz unprepared for next major disruption

Despite a time of unprecedented investment in digital infrastructure and transformation, more than three-quarters (76%) of Australian chief information officers (CIOs) believe their organisation is not completely prepared to help their companies withstand another major business disruption, a new study shows.

In March 2021, Genpact worked with the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium and Wakefield Research to survey 500 CIOs and technology leaders globally, 50 of whom are in Australia

Findings also show that just over half (54%) of respondents agree strongly that they are well-positioned to support company growth after the pandemic.

The study reveals three distinct roles: pilots, co-pilots, and engineers, with varying levels of influence over guiding change in their companies. 

In Australia, 24% of CIOs are pilots who lead the way and drive the transformation journey strategically across core business functions. 

The largest cohort, 56%, are co-pilots partnering with business leaders to shape and deliver transformation. Further, 20% are the engineers, simply executing, not driving transformation.

“As the power of the cloud, data, and AI redefine the future of work, the CIO role is evolving exponentially but not equally,” said Sanjay Srivastava, chief digital officer of Genpact. 

“Transformation pilot CIOs who drive alignment across the C-suite and put the organisational focus on building resilience and innovation will be the co-creators of new business models and future-ready companies,” said Srivastava. CIOs who do not will see their organisations struggle.”

Other findings from Genpact’s CIO study include insights that influencing the CEO’s agenda is critical to CIOs’ transformation success; being a data-led organisation is imperative to success; in the virtual world of work, CIOs are overlooking HR; and CIOs are pivotal in connecting employee and customer experience.

About a third (32%) of Australian CIOs surveyed hold themselves accountable for employee experience and (30%) for customer experience. 

In fact, CIOs are uniquely positioned to connect CX and employee experience technologies. Only when employees are digitally enabled can they deliver the experiences customers expect.