Lack of talent hinders organizations from keeping up with the pace of change, shows KPMG CIO 2016 survey

Lack of talent hinders organizations

Two-Thirds of CIOs Called on to Generate Revenue, More CIOs Report Directly to CEO than Ever Before, and these are ‘Happiest’ (87 percent), Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey finds. Largest global IT leadership survey reveals a more creative, influential CIO, but 65 percent are hindered by the greatest tech skills shortage since Great Recession.

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More CIOs report directly to the CEO (34 percent) than at any time in the past decade, rising 10 percent over last year, according to the 2016 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey. CIOs with a direct report to the CEO are also the happiest (87 percent report job fulfilment). The findings highlight how CIO priorities continue to shift, revealing the CEO now focuses on IT projects that make money (almost two thirds, 63 percent), compared to saving money (37 percent). In fact, some of the traditional top CIO priorities have seen the biggest drop in importance over the last four years. Increasing operational efficiencies has dropped 16 percent, and delivering stable IT performance has dropped 27 percent. 

However, the survey showed that despite being more creative and increasing their influence, CIOs say they still are being hindered by the greatest technology skills shortage since the Great Recession almost a decade ago. Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of CIOs say they believe a lack of talent will prevent their organization from keeping up with the pace of change, a 10 percent increase in just 12 months. Data analytics is the most in-demand skill for the second year running, at 39 percent. The biggest jump in skill demand year-over-year is digital, up 21 percent and security, up 17 percent. Companies most crave the newer digital and IT strategy skills, according to the survey. More than at any other time, the survey results reveal an undeniable increase in the influence of the CIO. There is even more significant change happening with CIOs in smaller businesses, as they are more than five times as likely to spend the majority of their time working on external-facing projects such as developing stakeholder relationships and growth strategies, instead of traditional IT functions like systems and infrastructure.

“CIOs across the globe are enjoying unprecedented influence” said Mihai Rada, Director IT Advisory, KPMG Romania. “The CIO’s profile is clearly changing. IT leaders are increasingly seeing themselves as value drivers, not only a piece of “support” in the organization. Most of the CIOs expect that their strategic influence will grow in the future. Adaptability and the ability to generate value in uncertain times are becoming increasingly important business skills for today’s CIO,“ he continues.

The CIO survey revealed that three in ten (28 per cent) of organizations had to respond to a major IT security or cyber-attack in the last two years. Seven in ten IT leaders (69 per cent) are most concerned with the risk of cyber-attack by organized criminals, while almost half (48 per cent) believe amateur cyber criminals pose a great risk. Only four in ten (40 per cent) think insiders – current or former employees – present a comparable cyber risk.

"Our experience shows that an increasingly higher proportion of cyber incidents are originating from within the organization” explains Gheorghe Vlad, Senior Manager in the IT Advisory practice of KPMG in Romania. “But the results of the survey shows that the CIOs are not very concerned about this.  Are CIOs overlooking this threat or overestimating the threat of Organized Cyber Criminals?” he continues. We can see that there is growing confidence from CIOs in the ability of their board to recognize the risks posed by a cyber-attack but that will not keep them safe from threats generated within the organization” he concludes. 

We are on the verge of a significant development in the 4th Industrial Revolution. This is driving new demands on the CIO and we are seeing the evolution of a ‘Creative CIO’ who is both a technology and business strategist, and a business model innovator. This Creative CIO is moving away from ‘keeping the lights on’, to enabling the business to create value.  Additional findings from the 2016 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey include:

  • The number of women in senior IT leadership roles has risen by a third – up from 6 to 9 percent in the last year.
  • One in five companies now employs a Chief Digital Officer, almost tripling the number since 2014.
  • Almost half of CIOs (49 percent) report data loss and privacy risks as the biggest challenge with adopting cloud technology.
  • Only a fifth (22 percent) of CIOs feel confident their organization is very well prepared to identify and respond to cyber-attacks compared to nearly a third in 2014.
  • This year’s survey supports the fundamental change in the reason for outsourcing: companies are primarily outsourcing for skills and flexibility, not to save money.  

About the Survey

The 2016 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey is the largest IT leadership survey in the world in terms of number of respondents. The survey of 3,352 CIOs and technology leaders was conducted between December 12, 2015 and April 10, 2016, across 82 countries.

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