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Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey 2019

Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey 2019

In its 21st year, the Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey 2019 is the world’s largest technology leadership survey. With over 3,600 respondents from CIOs and technology executives across 108 countries, this year’s focus is on the definition and role of digital leaders.


Key contact

René Koets

Partner, Head of Management Consulting

KPMG Switzerland


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CIO-Survey 2018

The digital leaders identified in this year’s survey are putting clear water between themselves and their competitors. What are they doing differently and what might lie behind their success?

A clear set of companies are differentiating themselves as digital leaders. How they are doing so is driven by a range of factors, including how balancing the risks of cyber security, data privacy and regulations, with the opportunities that disruptive technologies bring. And, crucially, how they work within their organizations to deliver real business results.

Interestingly, the companies that are winning are not simply asking IT to keep the lights on. Rather, their boardrooms acknowledge technology’s role in driving growth and reducing risk. In short, digital leaders tend to be more effective at collaborating with other parts of the business to put technology in the hands of value creators. They also recognize the power of data, and have a relentless focus on speed and agility. 

Some of the key conclusions include:

  • A new model of digital leadership: Digital leaders are the 30 percent of organizations that are very effective at using digital technology to advance their business strategy. They distinguish themselves in the way their boards and CEOs prioritize value creation over efficiencies; their technology leader / CIO is more likely to sit on the executive team.
  • Biggest budget increases for 15 years: We saw the largest proportion of organizations increasing their investment in technology this year. Even at enterprises that emphasize efficiency and saving money, investment is growing. The driving force behind much of this investment is cyber security, data analytics, AI / automation, and transformation.
  • It’s a time of massive change: 44 percent of organizations expect to fundamentally change their product/service offering or business model in the next three years. This is due mainly to digital disruption and the need to get closer to consumers.
  • Technology doesn’t stop evolving: Over three-quarters of organizations are investing in cloud computing, with almost half adopting it on a wide scale. At least one-fifth of organizations have at least small-scale implementation of internet of things, on-demand platforms, robotic process automation and artificial intelligence.
  • Up to one in five jobs will go to robots: Respondents expect AI and automation to replace around 10 percent of their company’s workforce within five years. For one-third of respondents, that figure rises to 20 percent. Over time, organizations that don’t invest in these areas can expect their cost base to be relatively higher than their AI-investing competitors.
  • Relentless rise of cyber-crime levels out? We’ve been tracking the growth of cyber-crime for many years, nothing how confidence in dealing with the threat has been falling. We see the incidences leveling out for the first time this year, as confidence grows.
  • The rise of business-managed IT: Almost two-thirds of organizations allow business-managed IT investment, and approx. one in ten actively encourage it. This requires a new relationship between business and IT. Those that get it right are likely to significantly outperform their competitors in a range of areas, from customer experience to time to market.


Further information
Executive Summary (PDF)
CIO Survey Infographic (PDF)
Blog article "Digital leaders perform better"

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