“In future, a digital understanding of what you can do with technology to drive revenue will be a fundamental part of what every business leader needs to know,” Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president of research at the IT research and advisory company, Gartner, told CNBC Africa on Tuesday.
He said that a crisis in IT leadership currently exists in the global corporate world as chief executive officers (CEO) and directors are frustrated that they are not getting a fast enough response from their IT departments to capture new markets, grow revenue, minimise risk or optimise their cost base.
“Leadership in IT needs to step up and understand that it’s no longer about the running of back office or oracles and the SAP (systems applications products) systems but more about using technology to drive revenue growth,” said Sondergaard.
This in turn, he added, has also created a challenge for directors and CEO’s because the responsibility of growth for the company lies with them.
“CEO’s need to delegate the responsibility of how to use technology across the organisation to someone,” explained Sondergaard.
This therefore resulted in the creation of new corporate roles for IT technicians such as chief digital officer or chief information officer.
Gartner also believes that an IT skill set will soon become a prerequisite for other managerial positions within a business.
“A digital skill set will soon become a skill set at par with duties such as financial management, managing people or selling,” said Sondergaard.
To address these issues, he stated that Gartner would be holding an IT symposium in Cape Town this week for CIO’s and senior IT executives to discuss the importance of technology and how it can be used to enhance their businesses.
“The essence of the event is to enhance the leadership skills set across the organisations not only in South Africa but also Africa,” he concluded.