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Lenovo study: CIOs choose innovation over IT optimization

A recent global survey conducted by Lenovo reveals that chief information officers (CIOs) are optimistic about the value that technology can bring to their organizations, despite economic challenges and limited IT budgets. 

However, there are real risks associated with this optimism. A significant majority (83%) of CIOs are concerned about insufficient finances to invest in innovation and digital transformation, with nearly half (48%) expressing extreme or high levels of concern.

The study, titled the “Lenovo Global Study of CIOs,” found that CIOs (48%) prioritize innovation in new technologies rather than optimizing their existing tech stack. The consequences of not investing in innovation are significant, as 60% of CIOs report that a halt in investment would have an immediate or near-term impact on various business areas such as automation, business model transformation, data analytics, and environmental, social, and governance initiatives. Also, 33% of CIOs feel their organizations lack sufficient resilience.

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“As the technology landscape becomes more complex, it becomes increasingly challenging for CIOs to implement digital transformation across the organization and prioritize initiatives and investments that yield positive business results,” said Michael Ngan, country general manager of Lenovo Philippines.

“as a Service” 

To address these challenges, CIOs are turning to “as a Service” (aaS) offerings for their tech stacks. This approach simplifies and optimizes IT operations, allowing CIOs to focus on innovation and respond more agilely to changing organizational needs. The pay-as-you-go consumption model, covering everything from procurement to deployment and infrastructure management, empowers CIOs and their teams to concentrate on innovation and strategic priorities.

The survey reveals that the majority (92%) of CIOs are considering adding new aaS solutions to their tech stacks in the next two years. At present, between 11% and 50% of their IT services are delivered through aaS models. Software aaS, infrastructure aaS, and device aaS are increasingly being utilized compared to the previous year, according to more than half of the CIOs surveyed.

AI and ML

The study also highlights two key priorities for IT leaders. Firstly, there is a growing emphasis on artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) as mainstream IT goals, which is driving innovation efforts. Secondly, talent-related opportunities are crucial for a company’s success, as attracting and retaining skilled individuals is essential.

AI/ML has become an urgent priority for CIOs, with 43% feeling significant pressure to address it, slightly behind cybersecurity (51%). Around 60% of IT leaders also face pressure to optimize their companies’ operations. Talent-related responsibilities such as recruitment, retention, managing remote and global teams, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, present ongoing challenges for CIOs as they expand their role in digitizing operations across departments.