Joining the dots: Now CIOs are enablers of a digital-first economy

By: |
June 10, 2021 8:16 AM

An Adobe report says 98% of Indian CIOs (compared to 92% in US) saw their responsibilities expand during Covid-19

Nitin SinghalNitin Singhal, managing director, Digital Experience, Adobe India

New research from Adobe has revealed that CIOs sit at the centre of virtually every major business initiative in today’s digital-first economy, with businesses tapping CIOs to digitally transform their organisations and help shape their return-to-work plans. In order to understand how the CIO’s role has evolved, Adobe surveyed more than 500 CIOs across the US (200), EMEA (150) and APAC (156) regions. It found that 98% of Indian CIOs (compared to 92% in US, 83% in EMEA and 94% in APAC) reported an increase in their responsibilities.

“In just a year, we went from a world with digital capabilities to a digital-first economy, which placed immense pressure on many leaders, including CIOs— many of whom were tasked with taking on a range of new responsibilities,” says Nitin Singhal, managing director, Digital Experience, Adobe India.

Around 96% of Indian CIOs have more influence on leadership decisions (compared to 83% in US, 85% in EMEA, 94% in APAC) while an even greater number (98%) share that their organisational structures have been reimagined to meet the changing needs brought on by a transition to a digital-first economy. Among the many priorities CIOs must now manage, customer experience is ranked the highest by Indian CIOs (92%, compared to 38% in US, 67% in EMEA, 74% in APAC). According to the survey, upto 50% of Indian CIOs singled out hybrid and public cloud as the most likely area for increased investment in 2021.

While customer experience is a top focus, the new “work from anywhere” environment has evolved CIO’s priorities to be first and foremost, employees and then customers. In fact, 89% of CIOs see themselves as change agents. Around 80% of Indian CIOs foresee their organisation focusing more on productivity than time measures (compared to 36% for US, 41% for EMEA, 57% for APAC), while a significantly high 71% are willing to hire from anywhere in the country and world (compared to 29% for US, 37% for EMEA, 44% for APAC). Additionally, 63% of Indian CIOs are ready to implement a shorter work-week compared to 7% for the U.S., 27% in EMEA, and 41% across APAC.

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