Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey 2019

Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey 2019

Explore how digital leaders are outpacing their competitors in delivering real business results.

Guy Holland

Partner in Charge, KPMG Digital Delta and Technology Advisory

KPMG Australia


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Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey 20190

A changing perspective

Now in its 21st year, the Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey 2019 is the largest IT leadership survey in the world, with over 3,600 responses from CIOs and technology executives across 108 countries including 254 respondents in Australia.

The survey provides direct insight into the priorities, strategies and careers of senior technology leaders around the world. In our digital age, it is no surprise to find that more IT leaders are reporting budget increases than at any other time in the last 15 years – but what are they using this for? How are they managing the balance between the huge opportunities that disruptive technologies such as AI bring and the risks of cyber security, data privacy and regulation?

A clear set of Digital Leaders1 are differentiating themselves from the pack and delivering real business results in nearly every measure. We take a closer look at these, finding that, on average, their time to market is better, their customer and employee experience is superior and their operational efficiency is higher. As a result, both revenue growth and profitability are higher too.

Digital Leaders work collaboratively with the business to put technology in the hands of value creators, clearly recognise the power of data and have a relentless focus on speed and agility.

In our special report, Becoming a future-ready Digital Leader (PDF 152KB) we reveal how these leaders are outpacing their rivals in six key areas that we believe the IT function must get right in order to deliver business value, as identified in our Future of IT series.

Key findings

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Almost half (44%) of organisations expect to change their product/service offering or business model fundamentally in the next 3 years.
  • A third plan to replace more than 20 percent of roles with AI/automation within 5 years but the majority (69%) believe new job roles will compensate for those lost.
  • Almost two-thirds (63%) of organisations now allow ‘business-managed IT’ spend, creating opportunities as well as increased privacy and security risks where the IT team is not involved.
  • Skills shortages are at an all-time high with 57 percent of Australian CIOs struggling to find the right talent. The top three scarcest skills are big data/analytics, cyber security and AI
  • Fewer CIOs now sit on the board – dropping from 71 percent to 58 percent in 2 years but CIO influence remains intact (66 percent see the role gaining influence compared to 65 percent in 2018).
  • The relentless rise of cyber-crime may be levelling out with 32 percent experiencing a major cyber attack in the last 2 years (33 percent last year) and confidence in dealing with the threat appears to be improving.
  • Almost half (44%) have large-scale adoption of Cloud and at least one fifth have at least small-scale implementation of IoT, on-demand platforms, RPA and AI.
  • First signs of quantum computing – although at a very early stage, 4 percent have implemented quantum computing to at least some degree.


  1. Organisations identified in the survey as being very or extremely effective at using digital technologies to advance their business strategy.

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