Back view image of young businessman standing against business sketch

Data Security, Skill Gaps, Digital Disruption amongst the top challenges facing CIOs in 2017

By Function, Information Technology, Newsroom, Technology

CIOs are faced with a number of challenges heading into 2017. The role of the CIO is ever evolving. In the near future, CIOs will face new challenges and take on new roles. Along with the plethora of responsibilities, there will be demanding challenges. The most successful CIOs are those that recognize, adapt to these changes, and are not outdated.

expertDB explores 5 such challenges that CIOs face in this year – these items will consistently be spoken about and will cause concern in some level of businesses.

CIO Concerns

  • Security

Security and privacy have become a top concern to the extent that IT leaders have budgeted huge expenditures for data security technologies. 36% of IT leaders noted security as their top concern. Higher profile security breaches and increasing importance to tackle being the top of minds of executive teams will mean that this concern is likely to remain high for IT executives. CIOs are looking for various ways to manage security and looking for IT security breakthroughs to help them spend more time leading other top-level priorities.

  • IT Skill Gaps

24% of IT leaders indicated that skills shortages were the top concern. This is focused primarily around technical skills like analytics, software development, cybersecurity and cloud-centric skill, but increasingly, there is concern regarding the scarcity of soft skills.

To tackle this growing skill gap, especially in areas like information security, data center management, and big data, CIOs are forecast to tap into the so-called “gig economy” extensively in the next several years to find the additional talent and expertise they need to propel their organizations forward into the future.

A growing percentage of CIOs reporting to the CEOs as opposed to CFOs and COOs, goes to show that there is a growing importance to the function and increase in strategic responsibilities for the CIOs.

  • Improve CX

CIOs are faced with an increasing pressure to improve CX (Customer Experience) and BX (Brand Experience), although these are clear mandates of CMOs. CIOs will increasingly be seen overseeing the development of a world-class market-facing digital experience with a combination of legacy and emerging customer-facing tech well beyond the marketing experience and deep into customer service and operations. Improving and transforming an organization’s digital experience is perhaps the biggest single differentiator in corporate results when it comes to digital today.

  • Cloud Adoption:

In the next 2-3 years, most IT workloads will be in the public cloud, and plenty of data show that public cloud is right around 30% cheaper than private cloud in conservative terms, all costs considered. These cost savings may witness an increased spend on digital transformation.

  • Digital Disruption

Threat of digital disruption on the doorstep today, rather than 3-5 years down the road. A recent study published in Harvard Business Review notes that most executives expect digital disruption happening sooner and quicker in 1-2 years, a far shorter cycle than earlier seen. This means CIOs must have contingency plans, beginning this year, to face digital newcomers in their industry vying the market pie.

More on:

Need to understand these latest IT trends & insights, best practices, and implications for your industry? Flexibly hire top IT experts for calls, surveys or short term consulting and more at, the global on-demand expert marketplace.

Get Started Today!


Other related articles on expertDB: