CIOs told: It's time to pay more attention to your users

IT chiefs reckon they are doing a great job - but staff aren't so sure

CIOs aren't paying enough attention to what staff want from their IT systems, a new report has discovered.

While nearly half (44 per cent) of CIOs believe they are very helpful to their organisation's employees in terms of helping them to do their job, only just over a quarter (28 per cent) of systems users agree, according to research by BT Global Services.

The report said the findings highlight the difference between the top-down and bottom-up views of the CIO's role "and makes the case for the CIO becoming more engaged with users and more focused on how they manage information to get their jobs done".

board executives meeting

CIOs - is it time to pay more attention to the workforce?
(Photo credit: Shutterstock)

However, CIOs said they feel the greatest pressure to improve information management from the board, followed by the IT department - but less from the workforce and shareholders.

According to the report, IT chiefs need to engage more closely with users, putting in their hands the tools they need to turn simple data into useful intelligence: "The CIO who enables the workforce to make best use of information by turning it into enterprise intelligence might be better described in the future as the chief intelligence officer," it said.

The report also found that nearly half (48 per cent) of UK techies said they had suffered IT budget cuts since the start of the recession, with some significant impacts: almost two-thirds of CIOs and senior executives said ageing IT is a barrier to their ability to "think globally" at an enterprise level.

And a quarter of senior business executives say IT budget cuts have harmed innovation, while a similar number said IT budget cuts have prevented them from winning business. A quarter also said their inability to find the right information when they needed it has cost them business during the recession.

BT Global Services surveyed 2,400 IT users and 270 CIOs and senior executives across 13 countries.