80% of CIOs to embrace AI and automation by 2028

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In a recent FutureScape report, IDC FutureScape: Worldwide CIO Agenda 2024 Predictions — Asia/Pacific (Excluding Japan) Implications, by 2028, 80% of CIOs will leverage organizational changes to harness AI, automation, and analytics, driving agile, insight-driven digital businesses. This prediction highlights the role of CIOs as key players in shaping the future of their companies, guiding them through new tech trends while putting data at the heart of their business strategies.

In IDC’s 2023 Asia/Pacific CEO Sentiments Survey, the top 3 concerns among C-suite executives were in digital skills, the lack of LOB trust in IT, and the lack of digital business know-how of C-suite executives.

Given this backdrop, the major challenge for CIOs is transitioning from being a technical to a strategic business leader, largely driven by the rising technology influence of operational business leaders and the complexity of enabling and driving digital business strategies.

IDC emphasizes CIOs’ critical shift towards AI integration in business strategies. These predictions show a pressing need for CIOs to adapt and innovate, and highlight the growing significance of AI and GenAI in shaping business practices:

• Optimized IT Investments: By 2024, 65% of CIOs will face pressure to adopt digital tech, such as generative AI and deep analytics, but limited IT support will diminish the benefits and heighten risks.

• AI Strategy and Governance: About 55% of CIOs will team up with LOB executives to establish robust federated governance for cohesive AI strategies, driving swift and seamless generative AI adoption in worker augmentation and automation by 2025.

• AI for Digital Reinvention: By 2024, 35% of CIOs will embrace generative AI, securing an early short-term advantage over competitors while cultivating a foundation of talent, experience, and training data.

• Rethinking Software Strategy: By 2025, 55% of CIOs will leverage business-savvy in-house developers and tools that use generative AI and low-/no-code as they and LOB developers build competitive differentiation through custom apps.

IDC believes in a holistic approach for the future where technology is the central pillar of business strategy. This forecast extends beyond the realm of AI, casting a wide net over the critical spheres of cybersecurity, data culture, resilient leadership, ESG compliance, and trust-driven customer engagement.

Together, these elements underscore the necessity for CIOs to architect a comprehensive technology approach that is seamlessly interwoven with every facet of business operation to remain competitive and secure in the rapidly evolving digital landscape.

• Embedded Cybersecurity: By 2026, 75% of CIOs will integrate cybersecurity measures directly into systems and processes to proactively detect and neutralize vulnerabilities, fortifying against cyberthreats and cyberbreaches.

• Data Culture: By 2025, 40% of CIOs will prioritize strategic data management and foster a data-centric culture, ensuring competitive differentiation in the digital era.

• Resilient Leadership: Two-thirds of CIOs will not meet their 2025 digital revenue goals because of misaligned investments hindering business performance.

• ESG for Competitive Advantage: To mitigate legal risks and enhance their brand and competitive advantage, nearly half of CIOs will be motivated to automate regulatory compliance and ESG by 2025.

• Trust-Driven Engagement: By 2026, 45% of CIOs will forge unified strategies with CMOs, dismantling silos of customer data to enable the delivery of expected engagements within a trusted digital experience.

“As we navigate a world transformed by technology, the imperative for CIOs is clear: evolve or be left behind. CIOs role is to embed technologies like AI into the very DNA of business as a strategic ally in addressing business challenges and opportunities, while ensuring their data is secure and regulatory requirements and ESG goals are met,” says Franco Chiam, Vice President, Cloud, Datacenter, Telecommunications, and Infrastructure Research, IDC Asia/Pacific.

“It’s this fusion of vision and vigilance that will define the successful CIOs of Asia/Pacific and beyond.”