EMEA CIOs More Likely to Scale Digital Initiatives

EMEA CIOs More Likely to Scale Digital Initiatives

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Digital business has reached a tipping point in EMEA, with 35 percent of CIOs being in a position to scale their digital initiatives, according to Gartner’s annual global CIO survey. That represents an increase from 20 percent last year.

“EMEA CIOs are setting the example when it comes to harvesting the results of digital initiatives,” said Andy Rowsell-Jones, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “Success at evolving endeavours to scale is higher in EMEA than among their CIO counterparts in North America, Latin America and Asia/Pacific. In addition, to encourage the application of “digital” at scale within their organisation, 64 percent of EMEA CIOs fostered better collaboration with the business, and 46 percent reduced silos and internal complexity.”

The EMEA sample represents nearly $5 trillion in revenue/public-sector budget and $79 billion in IT spending. Furthermore, there will be more money spent on IT in future, as IT budgets in EMEA are projected to increase by 3.3 percent, on average, in 2019. In parallel, the maturity of digital business in EMEA can be ascertained by looking at the types of jobs that exist internally. In EMEA, 31 percent of the CIO respondents said their organisations have a cloud architect, 17 percent have a digital workplace leader, and 13 percent hired an algorithm designer.

The maturity of digital business is forcing organizations to change business models. 47 percent of the EMEA CIOs surveyed reported that their organizations have already changed business models or are in the process of doing so. For 39 percent of the organizations undergoing a change of business model, the major drivers are the desire to react to changing consumer demands, which include better customer service, and the need to protect their brand reputation. The survey showed that CIOs in EMEA are focusing their efforts to improve the customer experience by making engagement with their organizations easier (49 percent) and using digital business to reduce the cost of consumers’ engagement (46 percent).

Digital initiatives are the No. 1 business priority for 29 percent of CIOs in EMEA for the remainder of this year and next year, which means that spending on disruptive technologies will increase. The survey found that 44 percent of EMEA CIO respondents will direct the largest portion of their new spending to business intelligence/data and analytics, 41 percent to cybersecurity and 37 percent to digital business initiatives (including marketing). These will be the three most funded technology areas in 2019.

AI came in at sixth for new or increased spending in 2019, but was identified as the No. 1 game-changing technology area, closely followed by data and analytics. Data and analytics, historically the leader in this regard, took second place this year, being identified by 23 percent of the EMEA respondents. The survey results show a maturing of AI use cases. This year, voice interfaces, specifically chatbots, and process optimization are among the top five technologies that CIOs have already deployed or will deploy in the next 12 months.

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