Is there an IT leadership crisis?

Gartner, the IT research and advisory firm, believes that there is an IT leadership crisis due to a big gap between the IT demands of company chief executives and the execution by their chief information officers.

“We have a crisis in IT leadership,” said Peter Sondergaard, Gartner global head of research, noting that 50% of CEOs as a result of the most recent financial crisis demand more of the IT function that what it is currently doing.

In return, only 10% of CIOs believe they have an execution problem, Sondergaard said, highlighting the big gap between the two.

Sondergaard, who was speaking at the Gartner Symposium in Cape Town, said that while CEOs expect more than what CIOs and the IT department is currently delivering, the activities within those roles are set to triple under a digital industrial economy.

Within this new economy, the role of the IT department will change, encompassing more than the traditional back-office managing IT.

Leaders in the digital organisation will not be the CIOs, but rather a digital business unit leader and chief digital officer (CDO), who will see IT through a transitional period.

By 2020 however, the chief digital office will be no more – “they are change agents,” said Sondergaard.

In 2020 they will have fulfilled their role. “All leaders will be digital officers in 2020. Digital time is moving fast. Digital leadership skills become an integral part of management skills,” he said.

He said that the CDO’s role is not well-defined in terms of corporate governance rights – there is no clear role for them and their function.

“Post 2020, somebody needs to have complete oversight of security – someone will need to run the infrastructure ecosystem,” Sondergaard said.

Gartner forecasts that by 2020, 25% of global enterprises will engage the services of a “cyberwar mercenary” organisation.

Gareth Vorster was hosted by Gartner in Cape Town

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Is there an IT leadership crisis?