STUDY: BT predicts a renaissance for transport and logistics CIOs

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Follow @SamJermy and @SupplyChainD on Twitter.Chief information officers (CIOs) in transport and logistics have an unprecedented opportunity to take a l...

Follow @SamJermy and @SupplyChainD on Twitter.


Chief information officers (CIOs) in transport and logistics have an unprecedented opportunity to take a leading role in their organisations, thanks in part to the rise of “shadow IT”.

That’s one of the paradoxical findings of a new global study published today by BT, based on a survey of almost 1,000 senior IT decision makers in eight regions and six sectors worldwide. 

Shadow IT is the name given to the growing practice of departments, such as finance or marketing, buying their own IT solutions.

According to the study, “Art of Connecting: creativity and the modern CIO, the practice is now common in the transport and logistics sector, with 76 percent of CIOs in the sector seeing it within their organisations, the same as the global average. Shadow IT now accounts for 23 percent of transport and logistics’ IT spend, compared with an international average of 25 percent. 

The growing confidence of departments in buying their own IT solutions is shifting the CIO’s focus away from hands-on support to a more strategic role centred on advice, governance and security.  Indeed, CIOs in transport and logistics are now spending 19 percent more time and substantial additional budget on security as a result of shadow IT, versus a global average of 20 percent. 

Despite worries about a loss of control and sizeable reductions to their overall budgets, the changes driven by shadow IT give CIOs a unique opportunity to evolve their role.

Luis Alvarez, Chief Executive Officer of BT Global Services, said: “CIOs are perfectly placed to nurture creative uses of technology throughout their organisations while keeping a strategic view. Indeed, our research shows that the board expects nothing less.”

Some 42 percent of respondents in transport and logistics say that the CIO now has a much more central role in the boardroom compared with two years ago, versus 59 percent of CIOs globally.  Some 58 percent believe that their board’s expectations of them have increased substantially during the same period, versus 68 percent of international respondents.

Craig Charlton, CIO of De Beers, said: “Creativity comes from really understanding your business issues, really understanding technology and being able to put those two things together. It’s the fusion of a pressing business problem with a good command of what technology can do that leads to great ideas. And without creativity, you will end up with a role focused on transactional services and traditional IT, rather than looking to the future.”

CIOs in transport and logistics view mobility (72 percent, versus 73 percent globally), unified communications (72 percent, versus 72 percent globally) and cloud (67 percent, versus 71 percent globally), as the technologies that can help unlock their creativity. And in a win-win, these, are also identified as being the most critical to delivering commercial results.  So the more CIOs are creative in their use of mobility, cloud and unified communications, the more likely they are to meet the expectations of their board. 

The research named “Art of Connecting: creativity and the modern CIO” is based on a survey of 955 senior IT decision makers in the USA, UK, Germany, Brazil, Spain, Australia, Benelux and Singapore. Respondents were from organisations with over 1,000 employees and were drawn from the banking, retail, energy & resources, transport and logistics, manufacturing and public sectors

The survey was conducted during November 2014 by independent market researcher Vanson Bourne.  “Art of Connecting: creativity and the modern CIO” can be downloaded at

BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. For more information, visit


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