Boardroom pressure on UK IT bosses is for high returns and innovation rather than a low-risk IT strategy, according to’s CIO Jury.

IT investment has come under more scrutiny than ever following the huge amounts spent on Y2K and the dot-com boom and with ever-increasing amounts of regulatory compliance red tape to contend with we asked the CIO Jury if there is pressure on them to be risk averse in the way they run IT.

Two-thirds (eight) delivered a resounding ‘no’ verdict, with a third (four) saying ‘yes’ there is pressure to avoid a high-risk approach to IT.

Steve Ritchie, CIO at Investcorp said there is a distinction between risk aware and risk averse. “There is always a healthy amount of pressure to be risk aware, being risk averse in IT would equate to stagnation,” he said.

David Lister, CIO at Reuters, said IT’s contribution to the company has to have an appropriate mix of risk and that the challenge is managing the balance.

“At the higher end we should be investing in some projects which have a very high risk/return ratio because if we don’t try to innovate or to establish forms of differentiation we’ll always be laggards,” he said.

Kevin Fitzpatrick, CTO at Manpower, said not taking risks can leave your organisation as an “also-ran”.

“Making exceptional progress means taking risks – that