CIOs juggling digital transformation pace, bad data, cloud lock-in and business alignment

Flexera's 2020 CIO Priorities report highlights a lot of moving parts for CIOs and technology executives.

Customer experience is driving digital transformation projects, but technology executives have a lot of worries including cloud vendor lock-in, data quality, upskilling employees and business alignment.

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Flexera surveyed 302 global C-suite executives in organizations with more than 2,000 employees. The Flexera CIO Priorities Report highlights how IT management is fluid, yet the more things change the more they stay the same with business alignment.

Among the high-level findings:

  • Customer experience is driving digital transformation with 69% of respondents rating it very important. But only 36% of respondents say they are mature in customer experience.
  • CIOs are planning heavy adoption of cloud and artificial intelligence in 2020.
  • 36% of the IT budget is allocated to growth and innovation.
  • IT is equal partner with the business less than a quarter of the time.
  • 65% of organizations have a heavy or moderate focus on business-led IT.
  • 89% say lack of quality data is an obstacle to good decision making.
  • CIOs are graded on return on investment, customer satisfaction and cost savings.
  • 84% expect to increase investments to upskill existing employees. 

More: Free PDF download: Cybersecurity: Let's get tactical | Research: 2020 IT budgets increase as priorities grow | Free PDF download: Tech budgets 2020, a CXO's guide

It is also worth considering the following takeaways.

52% of organizations are planning to significantly increase their digital transformation pace, but Europe and Asia Pacific are moving faster.

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Customer experience and improving existing products and services are top priorities.

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Cloud adoption will dominate in 2020 with AI close behind.

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Cloud security is the top cybersecurity priority. 

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ROI is the No. 1 metric and some even measure IT value via net promoter scores.

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Decision making is too slow without good data and too many stakeholders.

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And vendor lock-in concerns never go away.

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