Senior executives' digital literacy deficit a concern for CIOs

81 per cent of CIOs concerned lack of digital literacy at senior level could hinder business growth, a study finds

CIOs in the Asia-Pacific region are concerned that a lack of digital literacy among senior executives could be detrimental for business growth, according to a CA Technologies study.

The study, The Future Role of the CIO: Digital Literacy Amongst Senior Executives, found only 20 per cent of CIOs said senior executives understand the capabilities and impact of new and emerging technologies, with 81 per cent concerned about how senior executives’ lack of digital literacy could cause a lack of market responsiveness, missed business and investment opportunities, poor competitiveness and slower time to market.

The study also found almost a quarter of CIOs believe senior executives’ perception of IT as a cost of doing business still exists, with only 17 per cent of CIOs always involved in the strategic decision making process.

“CIOs are much more in tune with their businesses than they were 10 or 20 years ago,” said Lionel Lim, president of Asia-Pacific and Japan at CA Technologies. “It is only when the potential of technology is fully embraced by the management team that the CIO’s role can be transformative.”

Professor Joe Peppard, director of the Information Systems Research Centre at Cranfield School of Management, said CIOs need to be more involved in strategic business discussions to help senior executives understand how innovative technology and digital programs can drive business growth.

“CIOs are transitioning into the role of brokers of IT services; they will also be orchestrators of decisions concerning the architecture of the enterprise, innovation with IT, compliance and policies, and will have closer involvement with line of business managers in realising value from their digital strategies,” he said.

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