Top 10 CIO Priorities in 2020: IT Thought Leadership and Beyond

Top leadership especially Chief Information Officers (CIO) continues to face many challenges due to the increasing changes in the IT industry.  In making IT management decisions, organizations strive to maximize existing resources. But due to emerging technologies, where could CIOs be looking to invest in 2020?

The only thing for certain for CIOs in 2020 is nothing is for certain. Traditionally IT leaders dealt with challenges by cutting costs and making abrupt decisions.  But to gain a competitive advantage, IT leaders have to prioritize certain things.


In 2020 going forward, CIO agendas will shift to increased training for employees. Organizations will look for workforce training to maximize the potential of emerging technologies.  Above everything, people will continue to take center stage from 2020 going forward.

Gartner proposes that CIO roles will change in response to digitization and technology advancement.  Similar to human resource managers, CIOs play a critical role in employee acquisition and training. Emerging technologies demand that employees have to continue learning about these technologies.

Organizations will increase their training budgets by more than 20% year over year.  A recent report by Gartner noted that 60% of senior IT executives believe that talent shortage was a key concern in IT departments.

Data governance

Data has become an important element in IT management.  Starting in 2020, data governance is a top priority for CIOs because of big data, data privacy, compliance and quality management.  Although some companies have implemented data governance through data controls, SOX, and other structure development life cycles, there is a lot of room for improvement.

From 2020 moving forward, CIOs will prioritize data governance activities to ensure consistency across all lines of business.  As organizations proceed to accept the importance of data, CIOs understand that data governance is a key part of strategic business performance.  Future data governance strategies will mitigate the risks of data mismanagement and other security breaches.


IT provision is a central function in organizations and mass digitization has allowed businesses to operate across borders. Due to these advancements and relevance for change in the highly competitive market, CIOs are looking to use automation to get the work done faster and efficiently.

CIOs in 2020 will prioritize automation hardware and software to enhance provisioning and deployment. A 2019 report by CMO stated that 82 percent of respondents after a survey said that they had already adopted cloud automation to enhance performance management, quality control, and data management. I expected CIOs to allocate more funds to automation in 2020.


As we noted earlier data is becoming important for businesses. But the more data an organization collects, the higher the risks of hacking and data theft. Increasing the development and growth of cybersecurity threats demand rapid changes and unique prioritization.

Tony Buffomante from KPMG suggests that an organization should change its approach to cybersecurity from risk management and focus on business innovation and growth. As CIOs enter the new decade, I predict that they will prioritize their spending on cybersecurity to preserve trade secret and employee information.  In the last decade, cybersecurity and fraud-related incidents commanded a lot of attention.

Going forward, CIOs will prioritize their spending on cybersecurity and risk management.

3P’s People-Process-Product

Have you noticed that many CIOs concentrated on products and people forgetting the importance of processes in IT leadership? 2020 going forward, CIOs will prioritize the 3P’s over anything else.

Prioritizing the 3P’s guarantee the highest return on investment. Focusing on the 3P’s will help CIOs and CTOs to create value where there was none before.  It will also be the secret to maturing organization relationship to show that you care.  Marcus Lemonis believes that people, process and products are the keys to success for IT business leadership in the new decade.  But what are you doing to make this a reality? A bad software or hardware product will never sell even if the people and processes are perfect.

They say, (People + Product + Process= Profit) do you believe it?

Cloud migration

Cloud migration began as early as 2010. 10 years down the line, CIOs and IT leaders are struggling with maximizing the value of the cloud.  Moving IT resources and processes is a priority for CIOs in 2020 and beyond.  In fact, a report by Right Scale on the State of the Cloud noted that it was the second-highest priority for CIOs in 2019.

Although in the past IT leaders have used the cloud to increase efficiency and cut on cost, CIOs in the new decade is looking for a way to make the most out of the cloud.

 But isn’t cloud migration expensive? Indeed, migrating to the cloud may cost your company a fortune, but when aligned with business strategies and your company’s culture, it could have long term ROI.  Getting the most out of the cloud as CIO says is a matter of chief technology officers (CTOs) asking the right questions.  Struggling to migrate? Why don’t you seek help from professionals?

Laurence Guihard from IBM says that migrating to the cloud requires a long term approach together with careful strategic planning.  I advise my customers to take a unique approach to migration because every company is different.  Migrating to the cloud is important because it prioritizes business needs over technology requirements.


Internal teams cannot achieve success in fulfilling information technology needs within the organization without help from partners.  From support, development to maintenance, CIOs will prioritize partnerships to increase efficiency and productivity.

IT leaders understand that outsourcing non-critical technology needs are beneficial for their companies. A 2019 report by KPMG noted that 57 % of CIOs in a survey said that outsourcing helps them focus on their core business.  Given the potential of partnering with companies in different parts of the world, I predict that CIOs will prioritize partnerships.


Strategic IT leadership knows they can gain maximum by opening the borders and working with an employee from any part of the world. CIOs who prioritize outsourcing in 2020 will not only decrease their costs, but it will also give them access to a global talent pool.  India, Ukraine, China, Pakistan, and Kenya are the largest IT outsourcing markets with talents working for companies in the US, Canada, and UAE.  Here at Huki Group, we seek to be at the center of the global sourcing industry. The global outsourcing market in 2018 was worth $ 85.6 billion. What do you think this figure will reach in 2020?

Customer service

Whether you like it or not, customer service has always been important for IT leaders.  But will this become a priority as business competition continue to intensify?  Yes,  CIOs will focus on product quality equally as they will on customer service.

The IT department will align itself to produce quality products with a priority on customer needs. In creating IT products, CIOs will be interested in the emotional value that makes their customers purchase the product or service. CIOs and IT leaders realize that customers buy from companies they feel care about them.


The last priority in this list is integration. CIOs prioritize integration by bringing together all organization departments to achieve business needs.  An important question to ask is how can IT integrate with the production, human resource or finance departments?

Over to you

The new decade brings hope and opportunity.  CIOs/ CTOs must have the right strategies to get the most of each opportunity.