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IT execs consider AI the most disruptive tech

IT execs consider AI the most disruptive tech

Artificial intelligence (AI) is considered as the top game-changer technology by business leaders, knocking data and analytics off prime position.

That is according to the results of a Gartner CIO Agenda survey which gathered data from more than 3,000 CIO respondents in 89 countries and all major industries, representing approximately US$15 trillion in revenue/public-sector budgets and US$284 billion in IT spending.

When asked about their organisation's plans in terms of following digital technologies and trends, 37% of respondents said they already deployed AI technology or that deployment was in short-term planning.

AI comes in second, behind cybersecurity 88%, stated Gartner.

Andy Rowsell-Jones, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, said, "On the surface this looks revolutionary. However, this bump in adoption rate of AI may indicate irrational exuberance instead. While CIOs can't afford to ignore this class of technologies, they should retain a sense of proportion. This latest batch of AI tools is yet to go through its trough of disillusionment."

According to Gartner the strong focus on cybersecurity shows the necessity of creating a secure base for digital business that shields their organisation and clients.

"The survey indicates that in most organisations the CIO still owns the responsibility for cybersecurity. However, the IT organisation alone can't provide cybersecurity anymore," the company explains.

The rise of social engineering attacks, such as phishing, requires a broader behavioural change of all employees.

"In 24% of the digitally top-performing organisations, it is the boards of directors that are accountable for cybersecurity rather than the CIO alone. Nevertheless, to improve security against cyberthreats, in all organisations, CIOs are combining measures to harden information-processing assets with efforts to influence the people that use technology," Gartner added.

The research and market analysis firm believes digital business is maturing, from tentative experiment to application at massive scale. CIOs must evolve their thinking to be in tune with this new era of rapid increases in the scale of digital business.

The survey also showed that the CIO role will remain critical in transformation workflows.

49% of CIOs report their organisations have already changed their business models or are in the process of changing them.

"What we see here is a milestone in the transition to the third era of IT, the digital era," said Rowsell-Jones. "Initially, CIOs were making a leap from IT-as-a-craft to IT-as-an-industrial-concern. Today, 20 years after we launched the first CIO Agenda survey, digital initiatives, along with growth, are the top priorities for CIOs in 2019. Digital has become mainstream."

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