IDG\u2019s 2021 State of the CIO survey was conducted in the wake of 2020\u2019s unprecedented business disruptions around the globe. The survey found that \u2013 among other impacts \u2013 the pandemic cemented the CIO\u2019s strategic business role, as organizations turned to IT solutions to help them weather the huge increase in remote workforces and other associated dislocations.\nOf the 812 IT leaders and 250 line of business participants surveyed, 82% said that new technologies, IT strategies, and methodologies formed the core of their organizations\u2019 response to the pandemic.\nNo surprise, then, that nine out of 10 (92%) of the survey respondents also characterized the CIO role as being more digital and innovation focused, or that 82% identified the CIO as the principal champion of digital transformation efforts.\nIn practice, CIOs\u2019 transformational efforts included everything from aligning IT initiatives with business goals (cited by 40%) to leading change efforts (29%) to redesigning business processes (23%). Business process redesign \u2013 as well as process automation \u2013 emerged as a common theme across many of the survey\u2019s categories.\nFor example, more than one-third (36%) of the survey respondents said transforming existing business processes would be one of the core business initiatives driving IT investments this year. No other business initiative received as many mentions as this investment priority.\nKey to driving revenue-generating initiatives\nIn addition, process redesign and automation were seen as critical components of an increasingly important CIO mandate: driving revenue-generating initiatives. Sixty-eight percent of all IT leaders surveyed \u2013 and 85% of those self-identifying as strategic CIOs \u2013 said such revenue-focused efforts were now part of their agendas.\nThe top strategy for generating increased revenue \u2013 identified by more than half (56%) of the respondents \u2013 was to help create new products and services by automating business or IT processes.\nMore broadly, automating IT and business processes was flagged as becoming more important over the next six to 12 months by 81% of the respondents. The expected importance of this activity surpassed all others, including mandates to support direct interactions with customers (78%) and to provide executive leadership (61%).\nIt makes sense that process transformation and automation are seen by IT and line-of-business leaders as both a pervasive need and a promising opportunity. Ultimately, every corporate objective and activity \u2013 be it ensuring data and IT security, improving the customer experience, or driving revenue growth \u2013 depends on a web of underlying IT and business processes. Ensuring that those foundational processes are as fast and efficient as possible can produce benefits in every sphere of operations.\nA recent white paper by Forrester Research, commissioned by robotic process automation (RPA) leader UiPath, examines some of the key ways in which automation and artificial intelligence are impacting the workplace, and will continue to do so. To obtain a copy of this report, go to Reinventing Business Automation - Future of Work.