Gartner has predicted that by 2026, 70% of multinational companies will adjust the countries in which they operate by hedging to reduce their geopolitical exposure. According to Gartner, chief information officers (CIOs) have a critical role to play in assessing corporate risk and, if necessary, redesigning digital systems.
The analyst warned that CIOs can no longer count on the availability of the technology used by the company for its operations in any country in which it operates, and will likely face restricted and mandated vendors.
To minimize disruption, Gartner recommended that CIOs establish a center of excellence to assess technology vendor risks, with regular assessment of key vendors’ exposure to evolving government restrictions.
Beyond possible restrictions on enterprise software, Gartner warned that national competition for government control of cyberspace will affect the operations of multinational companies.
As digital technology becomes woven into all aspects of society, Gartner noted that nations are seeking to ensure that their own technologies reflect and support their core values and citizenship. Governments are increasingly concluding that they need a protected national digital infrastructure.
Government machinations to control the governance of cyberspace are beyond the influence of CIOs, but will have a profound impact on a company’s ability to operate internationally. CIOs can enhance the executive team’s understanding of transnational competition for control of cyberspace and the impacts on their company’s operations by conducting an annual cyber environment update briefing.
Gartner urged CIOs to ensure that the IT department’s operating model and practices reflect current laws and regulations. In this regard, Gartner said that the CIO’s role is to understand the legal environment and articulate to other executives how the IT organization supports compliance across the enterprise.
The fact that governments around the world are publicly committing to expanding digital capabilities and encouraging technology startups to build national technology capabilities offers CIOs a way to leverage local expertise and government-backed co-innovation support. .
Gartner Fellow Brian Prentice said: “Digital geopolitics is now one of the most disruptive trends CIOs must address, with many now facing trade disputes, legislation from one country affecting global operations, and restrictions imposed by the government on acquisition and use. of digital technology. They need to familiarize themselves with this new reality and prepare for its impact.”