Uncertainty will frame CIOs’ transformation agendas in 2020

Uncertainty will frame CIOs’ transformation agendas in 2020

With ongoing trade wars, the aftermath of Brexit, US elections and tightening regulations, things will be even more complex, reports Forrester

Credit: Photo 104456792 © Germanopoli -

Advanced firms will appoint CIOs who can function as collaborative business leaders instead of just being good technology managers

In the past, CIOs had to deliver on two main tasks during challenging times - cut IT costs and help drive efficiency across the organisation.

However, with ongoing trade wars, the aftermath of Brexit, US elections and tightening regulations, things will be even more complex in 2020, reports Forrester.

This continued uncertainty will frame the transformation agendas of CIOs, but with an important twist, Forrester says in its new report Predictions 2020: CIO.

“At advanced and intermediate customer-obsessed firms, CIOs will get a chance to step forward as business leaders, further developing and showcasing their tech-driven innovation, people management, and ecosystem-building skills,” write the authors of the report, Brian Hopkins, Bobby Cameron, J. P. Gownder, Mark Brandau, David K. Johnson, James Staten, Dan Bieler, Martha Bennett, Michele Goetz, and Andrew Bartels.

The report shares some predictions over the next year and how CIOs can lead through these.

Reporting lines matter

Forrester believes enterprises with CIOs reporting to CFOs and chief operating officers will miss growth targets.

CIOs with this reporting line will naturally be measured by financial and operational goals, and growth oriented metrics such as NPS and customer experience can be neglected.

“This will widen business silos, as CIOs won’t be focused on integrating information and end-to-end customer experiences,” says Forrester.

Forrester predicts these organisations will struggle to hit their growth targets as customers get fed up with the lack of information and slow value delivery. 

They will appoint new C-suite roles such a chief growth officers instead of addressing core organisational problems.

Advanced firms, on the other hand, “will elevate the role of the CIO as an orchestrator of information, systems, and business transformation,” says Forrester.

“Furthermore, they will appoint CIOs who can act as collaborative business leaders instead of just being good technology managers,” it states.

Mind your robotics quotient

Forrester sees automation as a key issue CIOs will manage over the next year.

It predicts CIOs will automate 10 per cent of their IT tasks and work in upskilling displace personnel. 

The latter are mainly staff doing highly standardised and repetitive jobs such as first level technical support. CIOs will look to train them to handle more complex tasks as part of agile and DevOps teams.

Forrester says CIOs who actively work on their organisational maturity - such as implementing Forrester’s robotics quotient (RQ) and Infrastructure Automation Framework - will be in a better position to integrate robots into their systems.   

Tangled innovation ecosystems

Another area where Forrester sees CIOs can play a greater role is helping their organisations navigate “tangled innovation ecosystems”.

CIOs are natural choices for this job because of their experience with technology, services, and vendor management.

“CIOs should prepare for this new challenge by facilitating collaboration across business-unit-level product and process-oriented innovation teams.” reports Forreter.

“They should also implement innovation platforms that connect business-unit level innovation with emerging technology research and long horizon, disruptive efforts.”

Sign up for CIO newsletters for regular updates on CIO news, career tips, views and events. Follow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nz

Send news tips and comments to @divinap

Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags strategycareerC-SuiteforresterpredictionsAIhuman resourceschief innovation officercio and ceoCIOS and the boardcx2020chief people officer2020 strategyDXBrexitRPAleadershipcollaborationcross-functional teamsmoonshot innovationsPredictions 2020trade wars

More about AdvancedTwitter

Show Comments