Top CIO Priorities in 2021

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses and job responsibilities have changed dramatically. In a recent report released by Gartner, they surveyed over 1,800 CIOs to see how their business strategies and top priorities have changed over the past year. 66% of respondents reported increased strength of C-level relationships as well as 70% of CIOs assuming leadership of high-impact initiatives. The CIO’s relationship with the business is stronger than ever, and they have a major opportunity to play a leading role in their organization’s digital transformation.

The top initiatives and priorities as CIOs led digital transformation in 2021 include:

Redirect Resources: Funding innovation and redistributing key resources is a top priority for CIOs globally. Organizations need to focus on digital disruption and acceleration. Luckily, there is a 2% average increase in expected IT budgets globally in 2021 to achieve these initiatives.

Remodel Operations: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic effect on all industries and a lasting one on operations and supply chain management. 18% of CIOs reported a decline in supplier reliability, and 51% reported a decline in the speed of supply. Disruption from the initial lockdown is still slowly being resolved, and CIOs are still expected to deliver their IT equipment regardless of supplier inefficiencies. Revamping business operations to increase efficiency and supply chain resilience is key for the remainder of 2021.

Win Differently: During the COVID-19 lock-down, customers shifted their activity entirely online, increasing the demand for new digital products and services. 76% of CIOs reported an increase in demand for new digital solutions, and 83% expect the demand to increase in 2021. CIOs need to adapt to customer demands and meet customers where they are.

Refocus IT Leadership: The pandemic caused a rapid acceleration of digital transformation across all industries. In fact, Microsoft says the world experienced 2 years of digital transformation in just 2 months. Now that IT teams have deployed the necessary tools needed for remote work, it’s time for CIOs to refocus leadership and look at other more long-term IT projects for digital business acceleration.