CEO directives: Top 10 initiatives for IT leaders

The CEO charter for CIOs this year: Lead digital transformation, capitalize on data analytics, and collaborate more with the business.

When the calendar flipped to 2021, CIO Sue Workman started looking back at the IT priorities she had set for Case Western Reserve University back in July to see which initiatives were still tenable. “Are we still there, or are we now able to think differently?” Workman deliberated.

She concluded that the university’s IT strategy now required a whole new set of initiatives.

“Our vision has changed,” she says. “Things that we were still trying to do, we can do faster now, and because of COVID we’ve been able to move people’s ability and willingness to change more quickly.”

COVID-related IT initiatives are not over for most companies, but IT leaders are now finding breathing room to move forward. CEOs now hope that their CIOs can spend their time on more strategic and transformative tasks. The expectation is that the burden of functional duties will lessen, potentially due to the rise of automation and other advanced technologies.

Our annual State of the CIO report, which surveyed 812 IT leaders and 250 line of business participants, revealed a long list of initiatives that CEOs would like their CIOs to prioritize in 2021. Here are the top five.

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