CIOs Share Their Priorities for 2020

CIOs Share Their Priorities for 2020

Recruiting the best talent and empowering staff to expedite tech projects are top agenda items in 2020 for chief information officers and other technology executives, who expect to wear multiple hats as motivators, negotiators and strategists.

People power

“As our people are our most important asset, we will continue to place an acute focus on attracting, retaining and developing top technology talent,” said Lori Beer, CIO at JPMorgan Chase & Co., who is leading a technology transformation aimed at improving product delivery and operational efficiency over the next few years.

Ms. Beer was among 30 IT executives who responded via email to CIO Journal’s annual end-of-year questionnaire reflecting on 2019 and looking ahead to 2020.

Atlassian Corp. CIO Archana Rao agrees that talent is key. “I believe that without making it your top priority, you’re going to struggle to deliver any of your other priorities,” she said. The Sydney-based software company in 2019 formed a cross-functional team designed to explore ways to improve collaboration within the IT group.

Cigna Corp. CIO Mark Boxer called talent a perennial priority. “It’s our number-one differentiator and we will continue to retain, develop and attract the best talent heading into 2020,” he said.

Recruiting strong talent requires a good workplace culture, said International Business Machines Corp. CIO Fletcher Previn, adding that the trend of the CIO as a culture leader will continue into 2020.

“We spend a lot of time thinking about IT as a driver of culture change, and partnering with HR and real estate to deliver a modern workplace that provides IBMers unique opportunities to work on solving meaningful problems at scale,” he said.

Recruiting tech talent was a challenge for about 80% of about 2,800 U.S. employers surveyed in 2019 by Robert Half International Inc. Demand is particularly high for data science and analytics workers as CIOs draw more insights from data to drive business decisions. Just ask Tim Nall, CIO at Jack Daniel’s maker Brown-Forman Corp. “Data and analytics continue to be my top priority,” he said.

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