Emerging Technology Adoption: Key Findings From CIOs

3 Jul 2024

by Stuart Armstrong

In our report with Slalom on emerging technology adoption in 2024, we surveyed 700 CIOs and senior IT leaders for their thoughts on integrating new technologies into their organizations. The results highlighted how complicated and challenging it is to work with emerging technologies, from understanding business value to driving transformation and measuring impact. At the same time, the enormous pressure to keep up with these technological advancements and stay competitive has resulted in some acting without having a solid plan in place, leaving their efforts doomed to failure.

Aligning Investment With Strategy

Our research found that 73% of CIOs said the need to act quickly means they invest in emerging technologies before establishing a business case for them. Acting without fully understanding the value of the technology and the impact it can have on the business capabilities can lead to wasted investments and technology that does not deliver its promised benefits. 

71% of organizations rely on manually mapping—or do not map at all—to determine the impact of a new technology on existing business capabilities and processes. Ardoq's systematic approach to strategic execution means that an organization has a full understanding of its “as-is” state before it can start thinking about what might be. By identifying business capabilities and how they align with objectives, organizations can spot gaps that technologies could fill.

Large investments in new technologies require input from stakeholders across the business. The time it takes to gather this input and build consensus, especially in large organizations, can severely delay how quickly change initiatives can get started, leaving them to play catch-up while their competitors surge ahead. Indeed, 74% of CIOs said it sometimes takes so long to gather the input of everyone who should have a say on emerging technology adoption that they’re late out of the starting blocks.

Ardoq allows you to quickly engage with stakeholders across the organization, ensuring their buy-in for change projects and leading to better decision-making and collaboration between technology, enterprise architecture, and business teams—something that 86% said they struggled with.

Read how University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) used Ardoq’s business capability modeling to improve strategic decision-making.

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Measuring Impact

Once their organization has invested in an emerging technology, 69% of CIOs struggle with predicting the return on investment, describing it as often a ‘finger in the air’ exercise. This difficulty is evidenced by the finding that only half (53%) of emerging technology adoption projects in the past five years have delivered measurable benefits and impact.

A whopping 90% of CIOs said they struggle to see far enough ahead to understand future impact, and 33% said they were blind to the impact of this change because their enterprise architecture function relies on time-consuming processes.

Ardoq reduces risk in investments by ensuring quick scoping of projects. Once the “as-is” has been established, Scenarios allow different changes to be modeled to see how they affect technology, people, and processes before they are rolled out across the business. This modeling reduces uncertainty and increases the likelihood of an investment being able to deliver. In this way, CIOs can visualize where technology will create opportunities and prioritize investment accordingly, which we found 89% struggled with.

Learn how Ardoq helped dairy product supplier TINE understand the business impact of change.

Maintaining Visibility and Compliance

A lot of information is needed to power sound decision-making, especially those affecting large swathes of the business. This is another pain point for CIOs; 89% say it is difficult to maintain full visibility and control of risk across the IT portfolio and anticipate the impact of evolving regulations in emerging technology adoption projects. 57% said limited visibility of progress was a challenge when carrying out projects, and 56% struggled to pivot quickly.

Information CIOs need for robust decision-making can be found in many forms across an organization, from spreadsheets to notes in documents and even the heads of experts — all of which can be hard to track and prone to becoming outdated quickly as they are not based on live data. Ardoq allows organizations to build a single source of truth to drive top-level decision-making. Different stakeholders own and maintain each piece of information, preventing it from becoming outdated.

When it comes to compliance, 69% of CIOs say it’s a nightmare navigating emerging technology adoption projects through what they see as a “compliance minefield.” Ardoq’s application risk management solution is an effective way to evaluate risk in fast-changing IT landscapes.

Discover how a public utility company used Ardoq to build an application overview and improve cybersecurity compliance.

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Staying Agile

Adjusting course due to new information is natural for any project, but our research shows that CIOs really struggle with this for emerging technology initiatives.

67% said the speed at which the market, technology, and regulations change means they must constantly pivot emerging technology adoption projects as they learn new things. More than two-thirds (68%) of CIOs said if they didn’t constantly alter course during an emerging technology project, it was unlikely any of their initiatives would ever succeed. Yet despite the clear need to pivot, a staggering 91% said they struggle to navigate change within the confines of established IT standards and frameworks.

Ardoq helps organizations navigate complex changes through a proven approach to understanding current and target states. It helps identify how to accelerate transformation efforts and get to where the organization needs to be.

Find out how Askøy Municipality used Ardoq to improve its digital agility and responsiveness to residents' needs.

Leveraging AI

AI is the key emerging technology on everyone’s lips, and CIOs are keen to reap its benefits—but they’re also aware of the many difficulties surrounding it.
65% of CIOs say that it’s the most high-risk technology they've ever invested in, and if anything goes wrong, that burden will be on their shoulders. 81% believe that there is a ‘moral pressure’ to get it right, and 80% acknowledge that the potential pitfalls are huge, so they are proceeding with caution.

82% of CIOs think that AI comes with a greater weight of responsibility than other technologies because of its huge potential impact. The same percentage say it’s easy to ‘AI wash’ solutions by implementing new AI capabilities, but ensuring those efforts translate to tangible business benefits is much more difficult.

Despite these pressures, almost three-quarters of organizations lack an enterprise architecture that can accurately depict how their AI adoption will comply with regulatory requirements such as the forthcoming EU AI Act. 51% are in the process of building this architecture, but they’re finding it difficult to move fast enough. As a result, 49% fear they could be in trouble once this legislation or something similar comes into force.

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One of the key focuses of organizations' emerging technology adoption strategies is AI. In our webinar, How to Manage AI Innovation in Your Organization, we discussed an approach to introducing AI to your company while keeping a necessary eye on security risk. This ninth episode of our Amplify Webinar Series sees our Senior Enterprise Architect, Simon Field, and Chief Information Security Officer, Nick Murison, discuss a 7-step approach to exploiting AI capabilities, prioritize AI investment, and define an AI roadmap that aligns with strategic objectives.

Stuart Armstrong Stuart Armstrong Stuart is a Senior Content Writer at Ardoq. He specializes in making the complex accessible. And puns.
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