Top Innovation Drivers for CIOs

A new report from Sierra Ventures titled “Seizing Opportunity, The Transition from Legacy to Innovation in Enterprise IT” attempts to identify the key priorities, opportunities, and challenges that currently face CIOs and CTOs as they shift from legacy systems to innovative solutions.

The report explores the drivers of this fundamental shift, the CIO’s perspective on how this new world will take shape and impact their organizations along with case studies of companies that have found successful formulas for bringing innovation into the enterprise.

CIOs and their organizations that are swift to incorporate new technologies into their core businesses can outsmart their competition, which has a huge impact on bottom line performance. For instance, results showcased in the report show that the most important areas for IT innovation are Big Data and Mobile Devices with CIOs responding as follows:

32% Big Data

32% Mobile Devices

24% Cloud Computing

12% Social Media


Other outcomes found that the demand for better solutions is the business driver for innovation (52%), followed by competitive pressures (36%) and global markets (12%).


And, the biggest impediment to IT innovation, CIOs responded as follows:

32% Skills shortage

29% Maintenance of legacy systems

25% New efforts with limited clear goals

16% Scaling/support of new technology for enterprise


Interestingly, the survey found that when CIOs were asked to list which companies were most at risk for IT spending budgets, 80% of CIOs named at least one top 10 technology company.


According to Tim Guleri, Managing Director, Sierra Ventures. “We found that today, CIOs and CTOs have to wear multiple hats such as being strategic while keeping up with ever-changing technology advances and maintaining legacy systems. They have to evaluate risk, be innovative—all while keeping the lights on and the systems up and running. CIOs are changing the way they approach new technologies by sharing and leveraging the risks through strong relationships with VCs and other CIOs in non-competing industries, and we are happy to be partners in this journey.”

Overall, the CIOs believe that IT innovation will have the greatest impact on driving sales growth, and without innovation in the enterprise, growth and market position will suffer.


About the Survey

Sierra partnered with Professor Stuart Evans of Carnegie Mellon University-Silicon Valley to conduct the survey and compile the report. Sierra tapped into its CIO Advisory Board, whose roster includes Fortune 500 CIOs and CTOs from across all major industries.



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Bill has been a member of the technology and publishing industries for more than 25 years and brings extensive expertise to the roles of CEO, CIO, and Executive Editor. Most recently, Bill was COO and Co-Founder of and the parent company PSN Inc. Previously, Bill held the position of CTO of both Wiseads New Media and