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Emerging CIO Trends in 2020

Now more than ever, CIOs have a unique and challenging role as they navigate an ongoing landscape of change and uncertainty. As we near the halfway mark of the year, certain trends are making themselves evident (we’ve already seen a number of digital transformation trends). But what CIO trends are emerging and how can CIOs take advantage of them?

In this article, we will look at the current and future CIO trends of 2020 and how CIOs can use them to guide future decisions.

6 CIO trends to keep an eye on

1. The adoption of artificial intelligence & automation

Amidst the current climate, taking advantage of artificial intelligence and automation has never been more important. As the year continues, we will see this CIO trend in full force. 

Artificial intelligence will provide CIOs with in-depth data and insight, and automation will unleash the power of employees by freeing them of monotonous tasks. 

It’s critical that CIOs are actually implementing this technology now, rather than just planning to implement it in the future.

2. Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity has been a recurring CIO trend throughout the years, but with the significant number of people currently working from home, it’s even more important. 

From Zoom calls getting hacked to phishing schemes in emails, employees and even business leaders are at risk. On top of this, cybercrime is constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated. 

This means it’s up to the CIOs to stay ahead of current and emerging threats, to evaluate the current software or cloud-based system, and to ensure that all employees are educated about cybersecurity. 

3. CIOs are becoming more proactive business partners

One of the biggest CIO trends of 2020 has to be the ever-changing role of the CIOs themselves. 

CIOs are having even more influence at the business table with other C-level executives as they take on a more strategic role. This role involves being able to explain how technology will be able to streamline a task/process, and then how this will increase an organization’s bottom line by X dollars/percent. 

While CIOs will continue to play a very active role in digital transformation, they will also be expected to take part in other strategic initiatives. 

This joint force of tech and business leaders will mean priorities will be better aligned, collaboration will be more prominent and obstacles will be overcome faster.

4. ROI of technology

Despite COVID-19 restrictions easing and a sense of normalcy starting to return, there is still a big push for CIOs to be able to show ROI. And while digital transformation is a must in the current climate, the budget required for it can be a pain point for some. 

This comes as no surprise considering how the Coronavirus crisis has plunged economies into recession

CEOs and business leaders will need to see that new technology investments will positively impact the organization, and it’s up to the CIO to convey this.  

5. Training is a top priority 

With more people working from home than ever before, technological training and upskilling is crucial. Your team needs to be confident using your organization’s software and technology because gone are the days when an employee could just tap on a coworker’s shoulder and ask them X, Y and Z (for now, at least). 

Not to mention, a digital skills gap can cause poor employee performance and productivity, low software ROI and an inability to innovate.

While trying to train non-tech savvy employees while working remotely might seem counterintuitive, there is an answer — a Digital Adoption Platform (DAP). 

The DAP provides on-screen, contextual guidance for users and helps train them in any task on any software, platform or application — think of it as a guidance layer that is added on top. 

A DAP can dramatically increase the speed of new technology adoption within your organization and it also reduces the need to pull employees away from their work to be trained.

6. Communication & collaboration

The last CIO trend to mention is the continuing importance of communication and collaboration — especially with remote working.

Whether your organization is experiencing a digital transformation or not, the employees, CIO and senior leadership team need to be in constant dialogue. 

Because of this, CIOs will need to ensure that everyone has the appropriate technology to facilitate these conversations. During this time, cloud migrations, communication in real-time and the technology that enables all of this, is what will keep your organization at the forefront. 


These are the current CIO trends we’re talking about within the team — and it’s clear that COVID-19 plays a big role in them. 

With an uncertain economic future and even more changes set to come, it’s critical that CIOs are carefully watching trends and staying up to date. 

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Digital Adoption Team
Digital Adoption Team
A wonderful team of Digital Adoption, Digital Transformation & Change Management Experts.

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