A global research study from Lenovo reveals how the CIO role has evolved with growing areas of responsibility and increasing influence in the C-Suite.
Today, technology is the nervous system that connects corporate strategy, finance, innovation, operations, and talent. CIOs are now tasked to connect with key stakeholders in order to ensure alignment and drive execution. With IT playing a vital part in the business, CIOs believe that their organizations must continue to invest in digital transformation to remain relevant. Key findings from Lenovo’s global survey of more than 500 CIOs include:
- Nearly all CIOs surveyed believe their roles have evolved in the past few years. Today, they make business decisions that go far beyond technology.
- 9-in-10 CIOs say that their role and responsibilities have expanded beyond technology, including non-traditional areas such as data analytics and business reporting (56%), sustainability/ESG (45%), DE&I (42%), HR/talent acquisition (39%), and sales/marketing (32%).
- 9-in-10 CIOs dabble in non-traditional areas like data analytics, sustainability, talent acquisition, and marketing.
- 82% shared that their role has become more challenging with the advent of new concerns like the automation of talent acquisition and the increasing use of AI. On top of this, they have to keep up with the advancements in technology and manage fragmented vendor ecosystems.
- The majority of CIOs believe their role in the organization has increased in influence.
- More than 3-in-4 CIOs say they have a greater impact on their company’s overall fortunes than other C-Suite positions.
- 88% agree that “my role as CIO is the most critical component of my company or organization’s continued operation.”
- As the CIO role expands and evolves, respondents say that their technology vendors play an invaluable role in their company’s overall success and productivity.
- Over half of the respondents (61%) say that halting investments toward digital transformation will greatly impact their company’s efficiency in a matter of weeks.
- In the next five years, CIOs expect to turn to their vendors for help in increasing their organizational agility (60%), providing security for their company’s systems and operations (52%), simplifying the configuration, deployment and maintenance of technology (50%), and optimizing costs (43%).
- Considering their new challenges and evolving responsibilities, CIOs suggest their current tech stack has much room for improvement.
- If given a chance to start from scratch, most respondents (57%) would replace at least half of their company’s technology.
- Compared to the previous year, 63% of companies are using more device-as-a-service in their tech stack and with business models evolving, nearly all respondents are considering adding new aaS offerings over the next two years.
“Modern CIOs are the ‘mission control’ of their organizations,” said Ken Wong, President of Lenovo Solutions and Services Group. “From navigating tech ecosystems to upskilling employees, today’s CIOs are responsible for the entire technology value chain.”
To manage an increasingly complex digital transformation journey, businesses need simple and flexible IT solutions. Lenovo’s solutions provide organizations the breadth of Everything-as-a-Service offerings in Lenovo TruScale. This provides businesses with flexibility to pay for the infrastructure solutions they need and a depth of expertise and services to empower CIOs to focus more on their strategic imperatives.
In order to enhance productivity and support remote collaboration especially during the implementation of hybrid work set ups, Lenovo in partnership with Microsoft aids workers with a reimagined but familiar operating system. Snap groups on Windows 11 allows users to easily switch between apps making it possible to efficiently maximize workflow.
Lenovo’s research shows that it may be an uphill battle for CIOs with data privacy/security, cybersecurity/ransomware and managing a fragmented IT vendor ecosystem as their most challenging concerns. Lenovo ThinkShield and Microsoft strive to provide them with the most comprehensive hardware-based security for their business.
Industry forecasts by Technology Business Research indicate that Device Subscription Services are growing at a CAGR of 26% from 2020 to 2024 and data center subscription services are growing at 42% during the same period. As-a-Service solutions provide mission-critical support and services, enabling businesses to use technology to scale quickly, lower costs, and reap greater efficiencies. With its flexible and simple offerings, Lenovo has helped organizations from the education to aerospace sectors optimize the right technology with the potential to transform and future-proof their operations.
The full study is available HERE.
 The global research was commissioned by Lenovo and carried out by Zeno Group. It surveyed 525 CIOs across the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, Singapore, China, and Japan. The research was carried out in December 2021.
 Technology Business Research (TBR), Hardware Subscription Services Market Landscape,
Third Calendar Quarter 2021