Digital transformation: What role does the CIO take during the crisis?

IT managers are at the forefront of the digital transformations carried out by organizations during the Covid-19 crisis. But cultural blockages within companies persist and tend to slow down these transformation efforts, weighing more or less on the performance of companies depending on their level of maturity.

A new study by Forrester and commissioned by Elastic questions the new responsibilities of CIOs in a pandemic context that promotes the digital transformation of companies and redefines business priorities.

The role of CIOs has evolved to take part in strategic decisions, says Antoine Aguado, country manager France of Elastic, at . If overall this tends to “accelerate the rapprochement between IT and business”, IT leaders also and above all have a role to play in the employee experience, says the latter.

A majority of French companies are in “survival mode”

All markets are not equal, and France is lagging behind in digital transformation. According to the results of the survey, carried out among 1,000 IT directors and managers in 10 countries, a majority of French organizations (59%) went into survival mode during the crisis, trying by all means to stay at flood, against a third of global companies in this situation.

If the figures for France are not auspicious, French CIOs are nevertheless reacting to the changing market: 74% of them are changing data structures to reduce data silos, while 58% are setting up an adaptive business model. However, only 6% aspire to “provide the right technology” to make this general idea a reality, the study said.

“There is a desire of IT managers to make changes, but they do not necessarily have all the elements available to achieve it”, notes Antoine Aguado. In France, maintains the director of Elastic France, “we still have a strong technological legacy”. But a big part of the problem also lies in the silo logics. “We have to try to change the architectures to consolidate the data and bring the infrastructures into a flexible workplace environment. “

57% of IT managers face budget cuts

For Antoine Aguado, the priority for companies is also to improve the user experience. With the help of the crisis, companies have been forced to mobilize new resources to continue the activity remotely, and to increase the number of devices.

The study finds that an adaptable business model focused on the employee experience seems “essential” to develop companies’ resilience and their competitive advantage over time. 60% of IT companies surveyed make investments to optimize their employee experience to improve the performance and productivity of the telecommuting workforce.

Nonetheless, 57% of IT managers globally have experienced budget cuts in the past 12 months. Only 40% of IT managers say they have the right procedures, policies and tools to help the telecommuting workforce.

“More than a year after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, data shows it’s time for IT managers to put employee experience at the heart of all their technology decisions,” says Kim Huffman, vice president of IT systems at Elastic, on the sidelines of the publication. “It is imperative that their programs evolve drastically and apply quickly in order to help employees, but also to adapt to the situation and to a whole new way of working. “

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