New Report Sheds Light on the Pandemic’s Impact on the CIO’s Evolving Role

    In today's digital age, the CIO is front and center.

    By Robert Cameron - Apr 23, 2021
    New Report Sheds Light on the Pandemic’s Impact on the CIO’s Evolving Role

    Image credit: Charles Deluvio, Unsplash

    In just a year, we have gone from a world with digital capabilities to a digital-first economy. The disruption has placed immense pressure on many business leaders, including CIOs.

    To better understand the evolved expectations and responsibilities of today’s CIOs, Adobe surveyed more than 500 CIOs across the APAC (156), U.S. (200), and EMEA (150) regions, including those in Singapore, India, Australia, US, UK, France, and Germany.

    According to Adobe’s new report, CIOs sit at the center of virtually every major business initiative in today’s digital-first economy, with 85% in APAC saying they feel pressure to digitally transform their business.

    Key findings of the survey include:

    CIOs in APAC are fuelling their company’s customer experience journey – Customer and employee experience are no longer the sole responsibility of CMOs. Partnerships have emerged – most likely with CTOs, in APAC, as opposed to a mix of other c-suites, in other regions.

    • Most CIOs in APAC (74%) and EMEA (67%) markets see managing customer experiences as the primary priority of their role. In the US, it’s more likely to be a secondary priority for CIOs (57%).
    • Managing customer experience is a key priority of APAC CIOs in 2021, with over 60% citing they are more focused on it than in 2020.
      Nearly 2 in 3 APAC CIOs agree on utilizing a localized customer experience strategy.
    • Customer privacy will be at the heart of creating and managing customer experience as a shared responsibility.

    The role of CIOs in APAC is expanding rapidly – The days of a CIO simply managing and implementing the information and computer technology systems of a company are long gone. In today’s digital, post-pandemic world, CIOs are finding that their role has grown profoundly:

    • In Singapore, 80% agreed that their role within the organization has expanded, while 88% agree that not only have their responsibilities increased but that they are also an agent of change and have the power to improve their organization’s culture.
    • An overwhelming 90% of CIOs in Singapore now feel that they have more leadership influence.
    • Over 75% of APAC CIOs feel their organization’s customer experience priorities have a net positive impact on their team’s ability to accomplish other initiatives.

    Future of Work – Post-Pandemic Work Realities – With vaccine distribution on track, businesses are tapping CIOs to help shape their return-to-work plans to ensure that employees can work productively and safely from any location.

    • In Singapore, 30% of teams are working always from home one year after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to 5% pre-pandemic. While this is higher than before, within Singapore, it is still vastly lower than in the US (61%).
    • In a post-pandemic world, APAC CIOs would prefer a more balanced workforce distribution, expecting more than half of their workforce either always or sometimes at the workplace. This is also slightly different from US – where there’s a vast drop – 76% down to just preferring a third of the workforce always at the workplace.

    To learn out more about COVID-19’s impact on the CIO’s evolving role, read the full findings from the Adobe CIO Survey here.

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