Business leaders in Ireland and the UK are not
yet fully equipped for the digital age, with 50 per cent saying they are
far from ready or have no plans in place for digital transformation,
according to a new poll commissioned by Ricoh. The research also reveals
that while an overwhelming majority of business leaders (84 per cent)
believe the CIO is well-equipped to drive digital transformation, only
17 per cent of businesses in Ireland and the UK are allowing them to
lead activity in this area.
The task of optimising business critical processes is ranked by business
leaders as the number one activity that is having the biggest positive
impact on business growth. However, CIOs are currently least able to
change it; just 10 per cent believe they are empowered in this area.
The research reveals that there is a clear opportunity for the CIO to
step up to help shape the digital strategy and company growth, if
further empowered by the business. The top three attributes of a
successful CIO according to business leaders are 1) having a marketing
background, 2) technology expertise and 3) business critical process
optimisation expertise. Yet few respondents said that the CIO was
currently empowered to change corresponding elements of a successful
digital strategy, such as customer engagement and supply chain (both at
21 per cent).
The survey also highlights that CEOs (35 per cent) are most likely to
lead digital transformation projects with just 17 per cent of businesses
entrusting their CIO with the task. Just over half (52 per cent) of the
businesses polled said they have a CIO on the board.
The research was carried out in May and June this year by Coleman Parkes
Research and consisted of 735 business and IT decision makers from
Matthew McCann, sales director, Ricoh Ireland, says, "The research
insights show that half of Irish businesses are still in the digital
dark ages and are currently unprepared to drive digital transformation.
During a time, when much more technology-led change is anticipated,
businesses will need to be able to adapt quickly to new client demands,
economic conditions and to maintain a competitive advantage. To meet the
challenges posed by this change, IT management should no longer be
sidelined as a supporting role, instead CIOs must be further empowered
to influence business models, client interaction and employee
"By starting with business critical processes - the number one ranked
activity to impact business growth - CIOs can combine technology
expertise with commercial acumen to review, and change the organisations
traditional ways of working. In turn they will gain much more than cost
savings. The business will benefit from being able to move forward with
a more productive and agile working model where employee knowledge
sharing is enhanced and they are more responsive to client needs. In the
longer term, with these strong foundations in place the CIO can focus on
the core business areas and successfully lead the organisation into a
brighter digital future."