Trends and priorities for business and IT executives around the world

The 2020 CGI Client Global Insights present the findings from our one-on-one interviews with 1,447 executives across the industries and geographies we serve, with the interviews split nearly 50-50 between the periods before and after the pandemic declaration. The unique timing of these strategic conversations provides insights into how business and IT priorities are evolving rapidly.

This year, leaders indicate a continued focus on meeting customer and citizen expectations with an increasing demand for agility, automation and analytics.  

Top trends by impact
1. Becoming digital for customers/citizens
2. IT modernisation
3. Optimising operations
4. Cost/budget pressure
5. Cybersecurity

Meeting customers’ digital needs continues as top trend

Becoming digital to meet customer and citizen expectations is the top trend across industries in 2020 as it was in 2019. However, cost control/budget pressure and optimising operations both rise in impact compared to last year. Cybersecurity lessens in impact.

Pandemic impacts: In interviews held after the pandemic declaration, executives see a higher impact for cybersecurity as a trend than they do for cost control.



Top business priorities by importance
1. Customer/citizen experience
2. Becoming digital for customers/citizens
3. Optimising operations
4. IT modernisation
5. Agile supply chain

Customer experience is new top business priority

Executives indicate an increasing focus on the customer experience as well as an emerging priority for supply chain agility. For commercial executives, business agility is the third highest priority; however, government leaders do not cite it. The top constraint to achieving these priorities is now culture change and change management, replacing cost/budget pressure.

Pandemic impacts: In interviews held after the pandemic declaration, the number of executives citing the agile supply chain is much higher.



Top IT priorities by importance
1. Becoming digital for customers/citizens
2. IT modernisation
3. Cybersecurity
4. Cloud delivery models
5. Regulation

Becoming digital is new top IT priority

In 2020, becoming a digital organisation rises as the top IT priority ahead of IT modernisation this year. Cyber security and cloud delivery also rise as priorities.

Pandemic impacts: For interviews after the pandemic declaration, cybersecurity and cloud delivery models rise in importance.








This year, 12% of executives say they are seeing results from enterprise digital strategies, up from 10% in 2019. Those organisations achieving results from digital strategies have several common characteristics.

% producing results from enterprise digital strategies


Use of substantial managed services


Implementation of enhanced automation


Highly agile business models


Globally, 81% of executives say they need to evolve their business model for digitization, and 4% say that evolution is complete. Additionally, 18% of executives indicate their business model is highly agile when it comes to addressing digitization (a score of 8-10, with 10 high) compared to 14% in 2019.

Analytics tops digital initiatives and innovation investments

When it comes to top digital initiatives, analytics is most frequently mentioned (74%), followed by employee productivity (46%) and automation/robotics (42%). In the three year-view, analytics also continues as the top planned innovation investment (70%), followed by cybersecurity (66%) and agile IT (45%).


Person consulting a tablet - Analytics tops digital initiatives and innovation investments



Interest in substantial managed services rises after pandemic declaration

This year we asked executives to share the reasons for using managed services. The most common feedback is to save costs and maintain control. For those executives interviewed after the pandemic declaration, their planned use of substantial managed application services shows a marked increase. 

% planning to leverage substantial managed applications in 3 years

2020 post pandemic declaration (42%)

2020 prior to pandemic declaration (35%)

2019 (34%)



Benchmark your organization

For the third year, business and IT executives interviewed ranked their satisfaction with their own IT organisations based on the 10 key attributes of a world-class IT organisation, providing a comparative view of business and IT satisfaction both within and across industries.

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world-class IT


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To consult with one of our industry experts to learn about the findings of our conversations with clients on business and technology trends, please contact us.