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2021 CIO Priorities Report

Drive enterprise resilience in uncertain times.

  • It is a new year, but the challenges of 2020 remain: COVID-19 infection rates continue to climb, governments continue to enforce lockdown measures, we continue to find ourselves in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and civil unrest grows in many democratic societies.
  • At the start of 2020, no business leader predicted the disruption that was to come. This left IT in a reactive but critical role as the health crisis hit. It was core to delivering the organization’s products and services, as it drove the radical shift to work-from-home.
  • For the year ahead, IT will continue to serve a critical function in uncertain times. However, unlike last year, CIOs can better prepare for 2021. That said, in the face of the uncertainty and volatility of the year ahead, what they need to prepare for is still largely undefined.
  • But despite the lack of confidence on knowing specifically what is to come, most business leaders will admit they need to get ready for it. This year’s priority report will help.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • “Resilience” is the theme for this year’s CIO Priorities Report. In this context, resilience is about building up the capacity and the capabilities to effectively respond to emergent and unforeseen needs.
  • Early in 2021 is a good time to develop resilience in several different areas. As we explore in this year’s Report, CIOs can best facilitate enterprise resilience through strategic financial planning, proactive risk management, effective organizational change management and capacity planning, as well as through remaining tuned into emergent technologies to capitalize on innovations to help weather the uncertainty of the year ahead.

Impact and Result

  • Use Info-Tech’s 2021 CIO Priorities Report to prepare for the uncertainty of the year ahead. Across our five priorities we provide five avenues through which CIOs can demonstrate resilient planning, enabling the organization as a whole to better confront what’s coming in 2021.
  • Each of our priorities is backed up by a “call to action” that will help CIOs start to immediately implement the right drivers of resilience for their organization.
  • By building up resilience across our five key areas, CIOs will not only be able to better prepare for the year to come, but also strengthen business relations and staff morale in difficult times.

2021 CIO Priorities Report

Read the 2021 CIO Priorities Report

Use Info-Tech’s 2021 CIO Priorities Report to prepare for the uncertainty of the year ahead. Across our five priorities we provide five avenues through which CIOs can demonstrate resilient planning, enabling the organization as a whole to better confront what’s coming in 2021.

1. Create an appropriate budget reserve

Identifying and planning sources of financial contingency will help ensure CIOs can meet unforeseen and emergent operational and business needs throughout the year.

2. Refocus IT risk planning

The start of 2021 is a time to refocus and redouble IT risk management and business continuity planning to bring it up to the standards of our “new normal.” Indeed, if last year taught us anything, it’s that no “black swan” should be off the table in terms of scenarios or possibilities for business disruption.

3. Strengthen organizational change management capabilities

At its heart, resilience is having the capacity to deal with unexpected change. Organizational change management can help build up this capacity, providing the ability to strategically plot known changes while leaving some capacity to absorb the unknowns as they present themselves.

4. Establish capacity awareness

Capacity awareness facilitates resilience by providing capital in the form of resource data. With this data, CIOs can make better decisions on what can be approved and when it can be scheduled for.

5. Keep emerging technologies in view

Having an up-to-date view of emerging technologies will enable the resilient CIO to capitalize on and deploy leading-edge innovations as the business requires.


About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

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Author(s)

Travis Duncan

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