Indian CIOs keen to capitalise on disruptive and futuristic technologies for enterprise transformation, says EY-CIO Klub survey

As the adoption of newer technologies gains pace, enterprises are realizing the need to identify the business functions that will derive the greatest value. The EY-CIO Klub Enterprise IT Trends and Investments Survey 2017 titled “Deconstructing disruption: Impact of future technologies” suggests that CIOs (83%) have shown the willingness to invest in new technologies as well as in the discovery of disruptive technologies that hold immense value. The 9th edition of the annual survey conducted by EY and CIO Klub sought the views of almost 400 CIOs. The survey covers essential considerations to enable CIOs make better decisions regarding their IT investments.

From a role confined to maintenance of IT infrastructure, CIOs now find themselves in the midst of improving business processes however, 75% foresee organisational agility being a challenge in the smooth implementation of new technologies. The other key business priorities that emerged in this year’s survey include ensuring a lower cost to business, innovating and managing the cyber security posture effectively.  The survey results also highlight cybersecurity threats, with 75% of the CIOs citing the lack of employee awareness and training to pose a major risk to business. It also emphasizes the need for CIOs in both large and small organisations to show a credible value proposition to the management for faster adoption of new technologies.

While last year’s survey indicated that CIOs were leveraging SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) as a vehicle for enterprise transformation, the survey responses from this year indicate the rise of a second wave of digital disruption. Specifically key trends like the Internet of Things (IOT), Robotic process automation (RPA), Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR) have piqued the interest of CIOs and it is increasingly incumbent on businesses to adopt these disruptive technologies to yield better business outcomes.

With the ever-evolving technology landscape, keeping pace with emerging trends continues to remain the top priority of the IT function across organizations. While 68% of the CIOs are concerned that existing technologies could become obsolete, 74% indicate that skill gaps could pose a hurdle in new technology adoption.

The survey also observed that 62% of respondents, across sectors, rated machine learning including analytics and analytics-based solutions to be of great relevance over the next two years. The majority of the respondents expressed great expectations in the potential of Virtual Reality and Robotics Process Automation, with 50% and 43% showing confidence in these technologies respectively. However, 58% anticipated high investment costs in deploying new technologies.

Mr. Nitin Bhatt, Partner and National Risk Advisory Leader, EY India said that “Disruptive business models and the digital transformation of businesses across the globe are forcing organizations to reimagine the role of their IT functions to stay competitive and in some cases, to stay relevant. Today, CIOs are constantly on the look-out for futuristic technologies to challenge the status-quo, cut costs, boost revenues, generate process efficiencies and facilitate the development of new products and services. They also understand what “digital” means for every area of the business, whether operational or customer-facing, and they make convincing arguments for why their organizations should embrace these opportunities. The ongoing disruption of businesses, enabled by unprecedented technological innovation, provides a great opportunity for CIOs to be the strategic reference point in their respective organizations’ transformation journey.”

According to Mr. Shirish Gariba, President CIO KLUB, “The need of the hour is for CIOs to develop solid business cases to get the nod of the board for exploring various new disruptive technologies. Indeed, CIOs seem to be keen on managing their risks by outsourcing the implementation of these technologies or deploying plug-and-play solutions. It is in this context that “Everything-as-a-Service,”or XaaS, has the potential to become an efficient tool for IT transformation.”

EY and the CIO KLUB’s Enterprise IT Trends and Investment Survey annually gauges investment patterns, IT priorities and upcoming investment plans of organizations. This year’s survey was open for a period of three weeks in the month of March 2017 and was designed to identify the most significant trends related to IT investments, initiatives, priorities and technologies domains across enterprises.