No blockchain for you: UK CIOs put focus on AI

“Despite all the hype that surrounds blockchain technology, it is the least favoured tech investment for the IT leadership cohort”

Blockchain technology is low down the IT spend list of UK Chief Information Officers, according to the Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey.

The research, involving 1,200 UK CIOs, found that 45% expect to increase IT spend over the next 12 months. They ranked artificial intelligence (AI) as their number one technology investment. Virtual reality and blockchain technology enhancements were the lowest ranked with only 8% intending to invest. On-demand marketplace platforms took second place, followed by Internet of Things and robotic process automation.

“The Government’s desire for the UK to be world leaders in AI seems to be developing as we see it being the number one technology spend for UK IT leaders. Interestingly, despite all the hype that surrounds blockchain technology, it is the least favoured tech investment for the IT leadership cohort,” says Lisa Heneghan, Head of Digital Transformation at KPMG UK.

Customer experience

Boards are not only looking at CIOs to address operational efficiencies and IT performance, but also focus on how they can become more customer centric. 60% of those surveyed said management were looking at IT to help enhance customer experience. When it comes to prioritising digital technology initiatives, improving customer experience is the most important goal for 62% of UK CIOs. This is followed by attracting new customers and growing revenue from existing customers, with both at 57%.

Heneghan comments: “Customer centricity is becoming understood to be at the core of driving greater value for organisations. This year, we have clearly seen how organisations that put customers at the heart of everything are driving greater growth and profitability. This is requiring CIOs to think in a different way and understand how the IT function can also pivot to enable a more integrated customer experience.”

The CIO cohort also highlighted the areas within their business where they have managed to automate jobs. Roles in IT (24%), customer support (19%) and finance (14%) were cited as the main three areas.

“Technology is allowing businesses to automate many functions within IT and customer support. However, companies are still dependent on experts to oversee technical elements of business like risk and law. There is still some time yet before we will see wholescale changes to the workforce influenced by technology,” concludes Heneghan.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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