Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015: Who Should Lead the Digital Transformation?

Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015: Who Should Lead the Digital Transformation?

Is the CIO the right person to lead the digital business transformation? At Gartner’s Symposium/ITxpo in the heart of Walt Disney World this week, Gartner analysts repeatedly beat the drum that CIOs must seize the reins of digital business.

More than 8,500 CIO-type attendees listened to Gartner tell them to become “trusted allies” to the CEO. They have to be able to lead whether or not they own the technology. They need to have the digital business vision that the whole enterprise can get behind. They need to elevate their status from mere partners to influential players.

“Don’t get stuck being a data junkie feeding the A Team,” says Gartner analyst Mary Mesaglio.

Yet less than one out of four CIOs today are trusted allies, Gartner research shows. CIOs can flip these numbers by tapping into the one character trait that makes them stand out from all other leaders: intuition, Messaglio says. Three out of four CIOs are intuitive thinkers who can solve complex problems in new ways, according to Gartner. Given the vast uncertainty in digital business, this is exactly what companies need.

However, Gartner’s findings fly in the face of Myers-Briggs personality types. For a story last year, Myers-Briggs compared CIOs and CMOs. While the C-suite leaders shared many characteristics, there was one glaring exception: CIOs tend to rely more on historical significance versus intuition in their decision-making, whereas CMOs are more intuitive and willing to follow a hunch.

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