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77% of CIOs to embrace SAAS solutions to drive digital transformation post-Covid-19: Rakuten Survey 

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The pandemic has sped up digital transformation efforts across businesses regardless of sector and driven the importance of technology being central to business like never before. 90% of CIOs agree that Covid-19 has reiterated technology’s strategic importance as a critical component of the business, and not just a source of cost efficiencies. Expectedly, they see their role in an organisation evolving to be that of a business leader (40%)  or a Digital Transformation Leader (30%). These and more are findings of a survey by Rakuten India’s B2B Technology Initiative that has launched Rakuten SixthSense.

Rakuten SixthSense is Rakuten’s foray into B2B Technology Products. Made in India, SixthSense, which literally means a keen intuitive power, helps to provide businesses and IT leaders, end to end visibility of the entire IT environment, from development to business.

The survey announced today by Rakuten SixthSense with 500 technology decision makers in India, seeks to understand their technology challenges, the expectations from their role and priorities for the year ahead. Of the total CIO’s surveyed, 51% of the respondents are women.

CIOs say that their budgets will increase. A large majority – 70% expect their budgets to go up while 29% said they will remain constant. Only 1% of CIOs survyed said that they expect their budgets to decrease.

A majority of respondents, 77% of CIO’s say that they are increasingly embracing SaaS solutions to cater to specific functionalities as it helps them bring new capabilities to market more quickly (49%), scale more efficiently (29%), lowers costs (17%), while also reducing technology risk.

To meet the demands of business growth, CIO’s wish to invest in the following technology requirements. These emerged as their top five priority areas – 38% cited investments in improving software development and QA lifecycle, 24% cited enterprise-wide observability solutions, 21%  picked Data Management and availability, while 10% said it would be cloud and infrastructure, with the remaining citing DevOps and security to be their tech investment priority.

The management of data – its quality (44%), availability (18%), cost of management (18%) and tech and talent to drive data initiatives (20%) emerge to be pressing challenges faced by CIO’s surveyed, which also reflects in it being a key area of investment.

The survey confirms that CIOs clearly have their task cut out for them, while working around challenges of finding and retaining tech talent. The hiring boom for tech talent as businesses across the world ramp up their technology adoption due to the Covid-19, is at unprecedented levels leading to a hiring demand that is 50%+ more than in June 2019, as per Naukri JobSpeak. Recruiting and retaining tech talent is confirmed and cited by more one-third CIOs (36%) to be their most pressing challenge, followed by providing a digital experience (35%) and reducing the cost of operations (26%).

“Covid-19 has upended many trends and previous mindsets. While the importance of IT has only grown over the last two decades, the crisis has brought about a sea change in executive mindsets on the role of technology in business. This change is captured in our research with tech decision makers who are investing in technology for competitive advantage or refocusing their entire business around digital technologies,” Sunil Gopinath, CEO of Rakuten India.

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