2021 Global CIO Survey: Unlocking data to drive business strategy and accelerate growth

The first report from Logicalis’ 2021 Global CIO Survey, The Changing Role of the CIO: Agents of Change, revealed there has been a notable shift in the role of the CIO, as respondents highlighted customer experience, innovation and operational efficiency as their top priorities. To improve these areas, CIOs increasingly rely on data to understand changing behaviours and adjust their strategy accordingly. 

It is estimated 1145 PB worth of data are generated each day in 2021. To put this into perspective, a single PB of storage can hold 223,101 DVD-quality filmsAs more data is created, the demand for it to be processed, analysed, and stored becomes more urgent. Despite the sheer volume and importance of quick analytics, having high quality data is a necessity. What is often misunderstood is that the strength and reliability of the data can in fact make or break a digital transformation. 

The need for digital transformation is more prevalent than ever with the pandemic triggering companies to shift and realign their priorities. Results from this year’s survey identified that three quarters of respondents admit their organisations are wrestling with their abilities to unlock data which have the capability to lead successful digital transformation strategies. 

It was also unveiled that just over half of the data collected by businesses is ‘dark data’, that which is collected, processed, and stored but not revisited. To launch a successful digital transformation, organisations must be able to differentiate ‘dark data’ and data that can provide valuable and useable insights. 

Mark Benson, CTO of Logicalis UK&I, said: “The pandemic has brought on an incredible amount of uncertainty, giving businesses no choice but to reassess the way they operate on a day-to-day basis. Organisations must work flexibly to meet the needs of both their partners and customers. Identifying and using the right data to carry out a successful digital transformation is crucial to business speed and agility and gaining a competitive advantage.” 

Cloud technology can give organisations the proficiency to unlock data. It provides businesses with a solid technology infrastructure that moves and evolves with the world’s data capacities. Moreover, the CIO survey identified 85% of respondents want to work on their businesses’ ability to find new ways of increasing agility and speed whilst the same percentage believe operating new digital platforms and operating models is a priority. The cloud removes the issue of having to wait for server resources to become available, drastically increasing agility and speed. Benefits like these are influencing respondents to invest in cloud services with 59% of CIOs admitting the cloud hosts most of their services and technology. 

However, many are hesitant to transition towards cloud technology as it is a new platform to them. When looking at the survey respondents with no plan for a cloud migration, 34% believed complexity was an issue for them whilst 21% expressed their lack of expertise created a blockade. 

Many businesses that have invested in cloud technologies have found success by working with a managed services partner. Indeed, 97% of CIOs admit to using external services to some degree. Organisations are therefore supported by strong and complex IT infrastructure, paying for it as and when they need it rather than having to spend huge amounts running and maintaining in-house.  

Although careful planning is critical for cloud migration and will take some time, making the move can help to fulfil company goals faster. To find out how businesses can make the most of their cloud investments and harness the power of data to build business success, download the second part of the global survey here.