Born to be digital

How leading CIOs are preparing for a digital transformation

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As would be expected, within IT-intensive industries, much is being done on digital: just over half (51%) of CIOs in these industries say that they are already strongly engaged in leading the implementation of such technologies.

How IT-intensive industry CIOs stand out

1. More often a member of the executive management team

EY CIO - Born to be digital - Seat at top table

More than half hold a seat at the executive table. “For years, CIOs have been fighting for a seat at the table. They’ve understood the importance of building relationships, and how to engage the business with a business-centric vocabulary, and so on. So many now have a seat at the boardroom table, but they don’t know what to do with it,” argues KornFerry’s Bob Concannon.


2. Typically more engaged on strategic issues

EY CIO - Born to be digital - Discussing IT’s role in business performance with the executive management board

One of the clearest differences that mark out IT-intensive industry CIOs is their far stronger focus on business performance, with 55% interacting with the board on this topic on a regular basis. Take Fred Swanepoel, the CIO of South African Nedbank, who is providing advice to the board on the strategic direction of the business and leveraging technology to achieve strategic objectives on at least a quarterly basis.


3. More aware of the skills needed to succeed

EY CIO - Born to be digital - Top 3 skills - needed to succeed

IT-intensive industry CIOs acknowledge greater need for softer skills such as leadership, change management, and influencing and communication. For example, 9 in 10 see leadership as strongly needed to perform best in their role – a skills area where digital is creating new demands. This broader palette of interests is also reflected in the more business oriented education.