Research: The CIO as business catalyst - Role, relevance, and value (TechRepublic Premium)


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  • Published March 26, 2017
  • Topic TechRepublic Premium
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This archived TechRepublic Premium report, originally published in October 2013, is available for free to registered TechRepublic members. For all the latest research reports, 100+ ready-made policies, IT job descriptions, and more, check out TechRepublic Premium.

From the report:

We received responses from 296 participants who represented a good cross-section of companies small to large, located in North America as well as around the globe. Most respondents came from IT backgrounds, which lends accuracy to their responses since they have a close knowledge of the departmental processes and activities in which CIOs are involved.

We discovered information not just about CIOs, but budgeting trends, such as where new investments are being made and which areas are losing budget dollars. We identified areas where CIOs are strong and weak—for instance, the results indicated that establishing communication with users and customers was the strongest method for CIOs to stay ahead of the curve.

Interestingly, some areas of diminishing influence or weakness may be due to the CIO’s own tactical mistakes (a failure to cut costs, for instance). There is also evidence of other forces (such as fellow executives or outside technological organizations) chipping away at the role.

We found that the CIO has retained a strong position, which nevertheless has room for continued growth—if the individuals involved are able to master the challenges. Over three quarters of our respondents stated the CIO brought discernible value and impact upon technological innovation and creativity, which was deemed important by a comfortable majority. Among respondents, 53, 46 and 70 percent stated the CIO has good involvement in company operations, significant influence and measurable strategy, respectively.

The survey also gauged the role of the CIO as perceived both by CIOs and non-CIOs, with some insightful results. CIOs tended to rate themselves more highly in some areas; yet in other topics their responses were similar to that of non-CIOs. This could mean that either CIOs have a natural bias in favor of their efforts or that their work is not always recognizable to others even within their group.

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