Enabling CX is a growing concern for CIOs, but are CMOs getting in the way?

According to a new study from Adobe, smooth CX is among CIOs’ top priorities in 2019, though too often it falls outside their remit.

The Adobe study ‘2019 CIO Perspectives Survey – US Market Topline Report’ identified security as CIOs most pressing task, with 82% of respondents naming it a priority. Following is movement to the cloud (68%) and the modernisation of platforms (66%).

Adobe notes, however, that while most organisations have prioritised these areas, only 25% of CIOs feel as though their work is differentiated from competitors.

According to Adobe CIO Cynthia Stoddard, the ‘unprecedented’ evolution of technology along with ever-looming issues of security, cloud migration and digital CX transformation has made the CIO role an increasingly complex one.

“It can sometimes feel impossible to keep up because of how quickly new technology comes into the limelight and how fast digital capabilities accelerate,” says Stoddard.

The report found that digital transformation, despite the hype, is still very much in its infancy. Only 15% of CIOs rated their organisation with top marks for having advanced digital maturity. Unsurprisingly, technology brands were most likely to rate themselves as advanced, while CIOs in the financial services industry were most inclined to give their organisation a low rating.

CIOs also identified enabling CX as a major priority this year, with more than half of respondents (55%) believing that AI and machine learning are key to meeting CX goals, and that these technologies will have the biggest impact on improving CX in the future.

Nevertheless, only one in 10 CIOs said CX is their primary responsibility, far more often led by the CMO or COO.

Says Stoddard, “While we aren’t managing the customer experience, we are making technology and decisions that will help fuel CX within the enterprise and that is a really important hat to wear. 

“My advice to CIOs: Be ready to get out – and stay out – of your comfort zone.”

The survey found that CX is more of a focus compared with a year ago for 57% of CIOs.

“There’s no denying that AI has and will continue to change business as we know it,” Stoddard told CMO by Adobe.

“And while our study shows that many of my peers clearly understand the value that AI can bring to their business, implementation can be difficult. Companies need to first figure out whether they have the right data and the right amount of it, and then also consider the implications that AI will have on business processes. 

“A lot of change has to happen culturally as well. Implementation is also difficult because AI is really new to most businesses and there is a shortage in talent that has a deep understanding of it.”

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Josh Loh
BY Josh Loh ON 20 November 2019
Josh Loh is assistant editor at MarketingMag.com.au