Digital Transformation

CIO Priorities 2024: Info-Tech Research Group

From right-sized AI governance to enhanced customer experiences, Info-Tech’s latest report highlights the top five priorities that CIOs must consider in 2024 and beyond to launch exponential value creation.

As artificial intelligence continues to reshape the digital landscape, CIOs and IT leaders are at a pivotal point, tasked with navigating the profound opportunities and challenges this disruptive technology presents. The CIO Priorities 2024 report from Info-Tech Research Group explores the critical capabilities and initiatives CIOs must prioritize to effectively leverage generative AI. Drawing from the insights of the firm’s recent Tech Trends 2024 report, the CIO Priorities 2024 report includes a comprehensive industry analysis and outlines five key initiatives poised to drive significant value across diverse organizational contexts in 2024.

Info-Tech’s research offers a strategic roadmap for CIOs and IT leaders to not only address but capitalize on the transformative potential of generative AI, ensuring their organizations can thrive amid the surging exponential growth of technological innovation.

“In our assessment of the 2024 IT landscape, generative AI emerged as the clear trend, a focal point of our Tech Trends 2024 report,” states Brian Jackson, Principal Research Director and lead analyst for the report. “This technology introduces significant opportunities and challenges. The critical question for CIOs and IT leaders is which capabilities need enhancement to leverage these opportunities and which initiatives should be prioritized to navigate the accompanying enterprise risks effectively.”

According to the CIO Priorities 2024 report, the 2024 landscape demands that CIOs and IT leaders transcend traditional IT management roles to become the drivers of innovation, with generative AI serving as the critical vehicle in this journey. This evolution necessitates a comprehensive evaluation of organizational capabilities, identifying areas ripe for AI-driven transformation. The research emphasizes that this transformation is about reimagining processes, unlocking new efficiencies, and navigating the complexities of integrating such advanced technology. The report provides a strategic framework to navigate this intricate landscape, empowering IT leaders to fully leverage generative AI’s potential within their organizations.

“In 2024, generative AI is like an elephant in the C-suite office, trumpeting its demands to be addressed,” says Jackson. “Whether through internal build efforts or through new vendor features, generative AI must be addressed by CIOs and IT leaders. This technology is the next wave lifting the expectations of customers and business stakeholders.”

Published February 6, 2024, the report is informed by extensive research, including Info-Tech’s Future of IT survey and in-depth interviews with CIOs from a diverse range of industries and geographical locations. This comprehensive approach ensured a broad level of insights, capturing the experiences of leaders from large organizations with over 2,500 employees to smaller entities and spanning IT budgets from under $1 million to over $100 million.

The industries represented in the study were equally varied, encompassing Media, Technology, Construction, Transportation, Government, Manufacturing, Gaming & Hospitality, Financial Services, and Not-for-Profit sectors. The international perspective of the respondents, from regions including the US, Canada, the Middle East, Great Britain, India, Central America, and South America, added a global dimension to the research.

To delve deeper into the different levels of IT department maturity and its impact on organizational priorities, Info-Tech segmented the survey respondents into two groups based on their IT maturity levels: high maturity and low maturity. High-maturity respondents, totaling 154, identified their IT departments as either “expanding” or “transforming the business,” indicating a strategic role of IT in driving business growth and innovation. In contrast, the 530 low-maturity respondents described their IT departments as at the “struggling,” “supporting,” or “optimizing the business” stages, highlighting a more foundational or operational focus.

The segmented approach allowed for a nuanced analysis of how IT maturity influences priority setting and strategic planning, revealing insights about how more mature organizations are pursuing opportunities and mitigating risks as AI cascades through the industry. By examining the priorities and planning decisions of high-maturity IT departments, Info-Tech’s report aims to offer CIOs and IT leaders a valuable starting point for developing their list of priorities for 2024 and tailoring them to their organization’s unique context and goals. The following priorities are what the firm recommends be top of mind for CIOs and IT leaders over the coming months:

  1. Augment the Business With Generative AI. The firm’s survey findings indicate a cautious approach toward adopting new generative AI features among organizations, particularly those with lower IT maturity. This caution is possibly due to vendor risk or intellectual property concerns. In contrast, high IT maturity firms are more proactive, with more than half reporting either planning to apply for beta access to new features or planning to move ahead upon their general availability. CIOs and IT leaders need to strategically integrate Gen AI capabilities into business processes, deciding whether to develop in-house solutions or procure them.
  2. Right-Size AI Governance. The report explains that organizations are facing a balancing act with risk management and fostering innovation. When asked about who is responsible for AI governance, 30% of respondents from both high and low IT maturity organizations reported that it is the role of the CIO. Furthermore, only 20% of low IT maturity and 32% of high IT maturity organizations stated that they use explainable models as part of their AI governance. This year, CIOs and IT leaders must design and establish AI governance frameworks that provide necessary oversight and specific policies that align with existing risk management practices without imposing bureaucracy and auditing that stifles innovation.
  3. Update Vendor Risk Assessments. The research underscores the increasing threat of supply chain attacks, where cybercriminals exploit vulnerabilities in the software tools and services used by organizations. This threat makes companies susceptible to the risks of their vendors. Survey results indicate that IT leaders from both low and high IT maturity groups perceive third-party vendor vulnerabilities as a moderate concern, rating it as a 3 out of 5, potentially underestimating the risks. According to the survey, 51% of low IT maturity organizations plan to increase their cybersecurity budget by 1%-10% over the previous year, while that number is at 38% for high IT maturity organizations. To mitigate these threats, especially those related to AI, Info-Tech advises that CIOs and IT leaders establish or update their vendor risk assessment programs to include AI-specific considerations.
  4. Exponentially Increase Innovation. According to the report survey data, CIOs identified innovation as a key driver for maintaining competitiveness and enhancing customer and employee experiences. Survey data shows that 46% of high IT maturity organizations have conducted a pilot or done more advanced integration of AI into the business, compared to only 27% of low IT maturity organizations. Despite AI being earmarked as a primary area for new investment in 2024, many organizations report not having conducted proofs of concept or pilots with AI to validate business cases. Nearly 50% of high IT maturity firms have already invested in AI and plan to invest more in 2024 versus 30% of low IT maturity firms. To harness AI’s full potential, CIOs and IT leaders must prioritize expanding their exploration of AI use cases, moving from ideation to pilot testing more rapidly.
  5. Exponentially Improve Customer Experience. Analysis of the survey data reveals that IT leaders are moderately concerned about potential disruptions to their organizations due to changing customer behaviors, second only to cybersecurity incidents. With 60% of respondents emphasizing customer relations and 59% focusing on customer service in their digital transformation efforts, the emphasis on customer-centric areas is evident. CIOs recognize the potential of AI to significantly improve customer interactions, either by refining the way their organizations connect with customers or by integrating AI into ongoing digital transformation efforts. By embedding AI into customer journey interactions, CIOs and IT leaders can automate, augment, and reduce friction at every point of the customer journey, accelerating service delivery and enhancing overall satisfaction.

The CIO Priorities 2024 report also includes insights in the form of case studies from technology experts at organizations such as the Phoenix Suns, Aecon Group Inc., Alliance Resource Partners LP, Year Up, and Brosnan Risk Consultants.

As organizations navigate the complexities of a rapidly evolving digital landscape, the CIO Priorities 2024 report outlines a roadmap for IT leaders seeking to harness the full potential of generative AI and drive exponential value creation. With comprehensive insights, practical case studies, and strategic recommendations, the report will equip CIOs and IT leaders with the knowledge and tools necessary to transform challenges into opportunities, ensuring their organizations not only adapt but thrive in the face of technological advancements.

Visit AITechPark for cutting-edge Tech Trends around AI, ML, Cybersecurity, along with AITech News, and timely updates from industry professionals!

Related posts

Cisco AppDynamics publishes Agents of Transformation 2022 findings

Business Wire

CourtAvenue Announces New Chief Technology Officer

PR Newswire

Schneider Electric Appoints Manish Kumar as EVP of Digital Energy

PR Newswire