The role of the CIO is changing rapidly. CIOs are under constant pressure to do more with less, to innovate, and to provide technical agility to respond to the changing demands of the business.

Here, we take a look at Gartner’s list of top 10 priorities for CIOs in 2016[1]. As a CIO, how well do your own priorities align to these?

Please note: the ideas expressed under each of Gartner’s priorities come from Salesforce.

#1 BI/Analytics

Salesforce Research surveyed over 2,000 business executives in our State of Analytics Report (2015). We identified four key findings:

  • As analytics evolves, companies are beginning to see it as central to business strategy and operations.
  • As the pace of business escalates, business leaders increasingly feel the need for agility and real-time decision-making.
  • Successful companies are using analytics in more ways than ever, deriving value across a range of areas.
  • Highly successful companies are building a culture of analytics where information is instantly accessible from the boardroom to the front lines.

#2 Cloud

The worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow 16.5 percent in 2016 to total $204 billion, up from $175 billion in 2015, according to Gartner[2]. The growth is set to continue beyond 2016 as legacy on-premise companies such as Oracle and SAP move their offerings to the cloud.

Salesforce continues to be an evangelist in the area of multi-tenant cloud computingthe fundamental technology that clouds use to share IT resources cost-efficiently and securely. It provides a range of compelling benefits including lower cost, increased security, increased number of upgrades and ongoing innovation. 

#3 Mobile

By 2020, there will be 6 billion smartphones globally.[3] Already, there are more web searches every day on mobile compared to desktop. With this universal change in behaviour – and as more companies realise the importance of delivering tools that resonate with customers – 80% of new apps are being developed with a mobile-first mindset.  

Increasingly, organisations must manage a portfolio of cross-platform mobile apps on Android and iOS devices, while meeting the requirements of diverse use cases including external- and internal-facing scenarios.


#4 Digitisation / digital marketing

Digital is king, and customer experience is the crown jewel. For marketing leaders in 2016, these two truths are shaping the path of the profession.

Salesforce Research surveyed over 4,000 marketing leaders worldwide in our State of Analytics Report (2015), and found:

  • Customer engagement is a top priority for marketers this year. Personal relationships and two-way communication is replacing the brand awareness driven by one-way, B2C broadcasts.
  • In 2016, the term “digital marketing” borders on redundancy. This year marks a tipping point, with marketers spending more than two-thirds (70%) of their total budget on digital marketing channels. It is marketing, full-stop.

#5 Infrastructure & data centre
A key benefit of cloud computing is the reduction in cost and complexity – you’re using an external provider’s data centre and infrastructure, instead of building and maintaining it yourself.

Salesforce and other leading cloud providers are based on multitenant architecture. All users share the same infrastructure and the same version of the application. In contrast to their single-tenant counterparts, multitenant architectures automatically release upgrades for all users.

#6 ERP

Cloud ERP has emerged as an agile, dynamic, flexible, cost-effective and swift-to-implement alternative to traditional legacy on-premise ERP software. While still maturing and not yet fully embraced by the market, the signs clearly point to increased cloud ERP development, adoption and growth.

It is especially popular for two-tier ERP deployments, in which companies run a primary ERP system on-premise with one or more additional ERP systems in the cloud.

#7 Security

Industry analysts consistently cite security and privacy concerns as the most significant barriers to the mainstream adoption of cloud computing, especially among enterprise customers. To gain the trust of organisations, cloud providers must meet or exceed what is achievable with on-premises solutions.

In the context of cloud computing, the terms security and privacy are related, but have different meanings. Security refers to a computing system’s level of resistance to threats. Privacy concerns the digital collection, storage and sharing of information and data.

Salesforce understands that the confidentiality, integrity and availability of our customers' information is vital to their business operations and our own success. We use a multi-layered approach to protect that key information, constantly monitoring and improving our application, systems and processes to meet the growing demands and challenges of security.

#8 Industry specific applications

Instead of customising general CRM software, an industry-specific CRM product can save time and money. Vertical CRM solutions are especially popular in industries with stringent regulatory requirements and complicated workflows.

In sectors like healthcare and financial services, companies often still use a patchwork of proprietary legacy software that hampers their ability to offer flexible and efficient customer service.

#9 CRM
In this era where customers are in the driver’s seat, it becomes more important than ever to have a proven CRM system in place to manage customer relationships, drive sales and grow your business.

Salesforce suggests that whilst historically CRM has provided capabilities across sales, service and marketing, increasingly this is broadening to include analytics, communities, and Internet of Things (IoT).

#10 Networking, voice, data communications

The advent of technologies such as 5G, fibre everywhere and virtualisation has seen drastic improvements in voice and data communications. According to IBM, 2.5 billion gigabytes of data were created every day in 2012. Facebook alone was responsible for 500,000 gigabytes each day that year.

Where is all of this data coming from? An obvious source is from your legacy systems of record. Then there’s the cloud, particularly with SaaS adoption skyrocketing. Add to this all the data created every second from mobile phones, devices and sensors – and of course the single largest data stream, social media.

Enterprises must figure out how to capture this data and, more importantly, how to search, analyse and visualise it – and connect it with data on their business and customers. The ultimate goal is predictive analytics and real-time intelligent decision making, which requires an IT transformation from systems of record to systems of intelligence.

Want to learn more about a CIO’s role into the future? Visit our CIO Resource Centre** for all the latest insights.


[1] Source: Gartner, Inc., Building the Digital Platform: The 2016 CIO Agenda, Dave Aron, Graham P. Walter, Lee Weldon, Oct. 2, 2015

[2] Gartner Says Worldwide Public Cloud Services Market Is Forecast to Reach $204 Billion in 2016,, January 25, 2016

[3] Ericsson mobility report, November 2015