Gartner finds three key focus areas for CIOs to drive value

During the opening keynote of Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo Americas, Mbula Schoen, senior research director at Gartner, said that as organizations build back post pandemic, CIOs and IT executives will need to find new ways to generate value.

They should focus on three things: Leading anywhere, nurturing connections, and reaching beyond by using technology and society readiness.

Leading and empowering anywhere

According to Gartner, by the end of 2022, the share of knowledge workers working remotely will increase to 47 per cent, up from 27 per cent in 2019. But the company advises that just moving from onsite to remote is not the only strategy for workplace flexibility. While it’s a good start, to attract and retain IT talent Gartner recommends CIOs do the following:

Design a human centric workplace:

A human centric workplace approach focuses on employees and employee engagement rather than just location and supporting technology A Gartner survey of 2,410 hybrid and remote knowledge workers revealed that with a human-centric workplace, worker fatigue is reduced by 44 per cent, intent to stay increased by 45 per cent and employee performance increased by 28 per cent.

Harness the power of business technologies:

Gartner said that 41 per cent of employees identify as business technologists, who report outside of IT departments and develop technology or analytic capabilities for internal and external business use. According to Gartner, companies that enable business technologists successfully are 2.6 times more likely to accelerate digital business outcomes compared to organizations that do not.

Build an internal talent marketplace:

Internal talent marketplace platforms use artificial intelligence (AI) and skills data to support enterprise demand for reskilling and flexibility in connecting workers to roles and short-term assignments. These marketplaces essentially identify what talent exists in the enterprise and offer access to a broader talent pool and more growth and development opportunities for employees.

Nurture connections everywhere

Hung LeHong, research vice president and Gartner fellow, said that CIOs cannot solve world-class problems on their own. They need to partner and build platforms with different ecosystems. Gartner suggests that CIOs and IT executives focus on three types of connections.


One-to-one connections can become generative partnerships where the organization and technology partner work hand in hand to create solutions that don’t yet exist. Generative partnerships are becoming more popular, with Gartner forecasting that generative-based IT spending will grow at 31 per cent in the next five years.


One-to-many connections work best when a single organization needs to focus many players to collaborate and solve a single problem. For example, a city bringing together both public and private entities to serve citizens is a one-to-many partnership.


Many-to-many partnerships are born when a platform brings several different enterprises’ products and services together to be offered to many customers. These are sometimes called platform business models. These marketplaces, and app/API stores, allow the many to help the many at ecosystem scale.

Reaching beyond

Gartner suggests CIOs and IT executives think above and beyond when it comes to technology; its analysts said that technology can help CIOs gain freedom from historical insights, legacy business practices, and help minimize the impact of bias. This would allow them to leverage technology to solve world-class problems.

For example, it’s believed that companies need to collect personal data from their customers to create customer intimacy and value. But Gartner predicts that through 2024, 40 per cent of people will conceal their personal data, making it hard to monetize. Privacy and security is a growing issue, and Gartner suggests the solution will come from machine learning and synthetic data. AI-based systems can create artificial or synthetic data sets that are valid and predictive, which may limit the invasion into personal privacy.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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