Home > New survey highlights shifts in IT-enabled business innovation, changing role of the CIO

New survey highlights shifts in IT-enabled business innovation, changing role of the CIO


A Harvard Business Review Analytic Services survey sponsored by Red Hat reveals companies with IT-driven business innovation in their DNA use technology to optimise business strategy and customer engagement.

It is a fact businesses are being transformed by new technologies, especially those that bring more intelligence and mobility to their operations and products. Some companies known as ‘Innovation Accelerators’ are driving this transformation by pursuing IT-enabled business innovation as a core strategy throughout their organisation, according to the results of the ‘Business Transformation and the CIO Role’ survey announced today by Red Hat. 

Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualisation technologies. 

The survey of 420 global business leaders, commissioned by Red Hat through Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, found that these Innovation Accelerators (32 per cent of survey respondents) are anticipating significant change over the next three years, particularly in how they engage with and learn about customers, as well as in their business models, products and services, and end user processes. 

Specifically, Innovation Accelerators are more than twice as likely to invest in the creation of new applications compared to peers in companies where innovation is not a priority (72 per cent vs. 34 per cent). They are also more likely to focus on revenue generating opportunities with new customer experience strategies (71 per cent), business model innovation (69 per cent) and service innovation (68 per cent). By contrast, companies for which innovation is not a priority will focus more internally on the automation of business processes (70 per cent). 

The way organisations engage with and understand their customers leads the list of areas that will be changed the most by IT-enabled innovation, with 55 per cent of all survey respondents saying it will be changed significantly and 20 per cent saying it will be completely transformed (rating it a 10 on a scale of 1-10). Respondents also believe IT-enabled innovation will change the way employees do their work (48 per cent say it will be significantly changed; 15 per cent say it will be completely transformed); the company’s products/services (46 per cent say it will be significantly changed; 11 per cent project it will be completely transformed); and business models (42 per cent expect it will be significantly changed; 13 per cent believe it will be completely transformed). For Innovation Accelerators, the numbers are significantly higher: 70 per cent say their approach to customer engagement and insight will be significantly changed, and 33 per cent indicate it will be completely transformed. 

These changes translate to a number of specific projects that respondents expect to engage in over the next three years. More than half of survey respondents are planning to automate business processes (67 per cent); execute customer experience strategies (66 per cent); create new applications (60 per cent); and innovate their services (57 per cent) and business models (56 per cent).

Lee Congdon, CIO, Red Hat concludes the survey results clearly indicate that every organisation should strive to become an Innovation Accelerator, where they are driving strategic initiatives such as customer experience and service innovation. 

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