Gartner says if CEOs delegate primary responsibility, then the next most likely leader is the CIO.
A study has revealed that half of CEOs expect their industries to be substantially or unrecognisably transformed by digital technology over the next five years.
In a survey of 400 senior business leaders by Gartner, CEOs cited self-driving cars, the increase of blockchain in banking and the Internet of Things as the top innovations set to transform the business landscape.
The research firm said more and more CEOs are choosing to head up digital change in the business as part of their digital business transformation plans.
The survey found that digital business has become so important that CEOs are leading the transformation themselves. If they delegate primary responsibility, the next most likely leader is the CIO.
CEOs appear to see digitalisation as a positive force, not a destructive one, with 84% expecting the transformation to bring higher profit margins.
The survey results reveal that despite challenging business conditions, CEOs are confident enough to approve strategic investments, especially for digital business transformation.
Gartner Fellow and vice president Mark Raskino said: "CEOs seem to be concerned about improving customer service, relationship and satisfaction levels. At the same time, CEOs have become much more concerned about employee issues than a couple of years ago.
"The emphasis is as much on benefits, retention and training of mainstream staff. It is not constrained only to senior grade ‘talent’ issues."
In the survey, CEOs were asked about the proportion of the customer perceived value of products and services they believe is digital.
CEOs said the value percentage is already 30% on average, and will increase to 46% by 2019, based on the product features that customers are selecting and believing that they are purchasing
Last month, PwC’s 19th Annual Global CEO Survey revealed that technology, media and telecoms (TMT) CEOs are being set back in terms innovation and future revenue growth due to the widening shortage of tech-savvy skilled workers.
Another study by IBM has revealed that leading CEOs are focusing more on cognitive computing as they see rapid digitisation of business, combined with industry convergence, as important changes in the coming years.