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CIO role has 'drastically changed' over last 24 months, says Lenovo

Globally survey suggests chief information officers have greater influence over their company now the role has expanded beyond technology

A man using a laptop with lots of graphics highlighting various elements of his work

Nine-in-10 chief information officers (CIOs) in the UK feel their job has gone beyond technology, according to a new report.

Lenovo's global CIO study has shed light on the role and its growing list of responsibilities and influence within the C-Suite, and how it is affecting those in the profession.

Globally, nine-in-10, the same number as UK CIOs, said that their role and responsibilities have expanded beyond technology and into non-traditional areas, including data analytics, business reporting, sustainability and talent acquisition. Within the UK, the job now increasingly includes digital transformation and business process automation, according to the report. 

With the expansion, global CIOs have also suggested that the job has become more challenging over the past two years with the increasing use of AI and automation in the workplace. Much of this is aimed at talent acquisition and hybrid work patterns, respondents told the survey.  

However, the biggest challenge CIOs faced, according to the report, was related to data privacy, which 66% of respondents said was a growing issue. This, they said, was equal to cyber security and ransomware threats (also 66%), but more concerning than technological changes (65%), management of fragmented IT vendor ecosystems (61%) and also the adoption of newer technologies (60%).

"Modern CIOs are the 'mission control' for their organisations, their role has transformed drastically in just the span of the past 24 months," said Ken Wong, president of Lenovo solutions and services group. "From navigating complex tech ecosystems to keep up with the speed of digital transformation, to upskilling employees and managing a global shortage of IT talent, today's CIO is responsible for the entire technology value chain and beyond."

With the increase in responsibility, more than three-in-four CIOs feel their influence and general impact within their company has also grown. Globally 88% agreed that their role was "the most critical component" of their company or organisation, with 84% suggesting the same in the UK.

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