CIOs at some major global banks don’t just want to security certify routers and other major items of communications and computing equipment – but the components inside, according to Gartner analyst Peter Sondergaard.
“Security is so fundamental to their business that they now seek to understand how routers are built because every single component that goes into making the hardware needs to be certified as secure,” claims Sondergaard.

Not only that, he adds, but that some major banks are spending as much as $500m on computer security alone, and CIOs are equally concerned about the internal threats that their organisation faces.
“The stakes are so high now that spies inside organisations may be paid by criminal entities to compromise security. This means that CIOs need to be ever more sophisticated at detecting these internal threats,” Sondergaard wrote in a blog post.
Sondergaard was reflecting on what he sees as the main themes emerging for CIOs over the next few years. These include the huge level of pressure to “innovate or die” as each wave of IT has become increasingly central to the survival of corporate organisations.
According to Sondergaard, major organisations are increasingly focused on “bimodal IT”, in which bedrock technology, such as ERP systems, is expected to run flawlessly 24 hours a day, seven days a week, while CEOs take a much closer interest in supposedly cutting-edge technology that could either drive growth or disrupt traditional markets.
One CIO, wrote Sondergaard, “explained to me that he and several of his peers in the industry are increasingly seeing CEOs set up new, separate teams focused on Mode 2 initiatives. These teams typically report directly to the CEO.
“This allows the CEO to directly influence the outcome of the project and ensure it gets done. The consequence of these changes is that CIOs are losing aspects of their responsibility and, along with it, their budget,” he wrote.
These changes occur at a time when even CEOs increasingly regard “information” as “the new oil” – the key driver for the creation of new goods and services in the 21st century – hence the importance of big data as a means of driving meaning from information. One financial services company that Sondergaard has spoken to recently has a 1,000-strong team working purely on data and analytics, and this team reports directly to the CEO rather than the CIO.
As a result, the pressure on organisations to find and develop IT talent is intensifying, from IT leadership right down to coders on mobile apps.
“All of the CIOs I spoke to said this is one of their biggest challenges; that hiring the right talent is key to being successful. In their experience, finding the right combination of skills and knowledge required in each of these areas is getting harder, not easier, to find,” wrote Sondergaard.

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