- Date published:
- Author:Brian Wood
The good news is that CIOs have a high opinion of themselves.
The bad news is that other executives do not share that same opinion.
Summary article by David Weldon in FierceCIO.
Emphasis in red added by me.
Brian Wood, VP Marketing
CIOs still struggle with acceptance at the top
Just as CIOs are being told to step up and take on a greater leadership role in the organization, new research reveals that many CEOs view CIOs as less relevant. Clearly, this is not good news.
A new research report, The CIO as Business Catalyst, from TechPro Research, finds that nearly two-thirds of CIOs are feeling pretty good about being more relevant as catalysts for change in their organization. A minority (40 percent) of CEOs see things the same way.
TechPro surveyed 296 IT and business executives on their views of the CIO role and its importance to the business success. The majority of CIO participants (94 percent) say they have a strong impact or some impact on technological innovation and creativity at their organization. Of the non-IT participants, 69 percent say their CIO can make that boost.
Survey participants were also asked whether the role of the CIO at their organization had changed in the past five years. One-third of non-CIO respondents said indeed it had--becoming less relevant. Among CIO respondents, 14 percent said the role had declined in importance.
Unfortunately, the TechPro survey results are reinforced by recent research by a new study by Forrester Research that finds that only a minority of business leaders feel that IT has the ability to deliver initiatives on time and on budget.
According to the report "Integrated Thinking: The Answer to Enterprise IT's Perpetual Struggle," a minority of business decision makers surveyed say IT does a good job of hitting the target when it comes to budgets and deadlines. Furthermore, when it comes to several key collaboration and communication metrics, IT gets a poor score by most executives.
Just how bad is the view of IT's performance capabilities according to the Forrester study? Consider some of the findings on what business executives have to say about IT:
- 43 percent say IT collaborates with the business on business strategy and innovation
- 40 percent say IT provides efficient and effective support for back-office applications and processes
- 39 percent say IT has the ability to regularly deliver projects on time and on budget
- 34 percent say IT has strong business analysis and business process design skills
- 31 percent say IT maintains a clearly defined set of business centric services that the business can easily understand
So what is the bottom line in all of this?
As noted in Enterprising CIO, "It was encouraging that CIOs are confident that they are impacting the technological innovation at their companies and the majority of their colleagues recognize it, but the discrepancy between the views of CIOs and their colleagues on whether the role of the CIO has become more relevant shows that CIOs need to raise their visibility within the organization so department heads and other C-level executives can better understand the value of the CIO role."
How Relevant is the Role of the CIO?
Survey respondents were asked whether the role of the CIO within their companies had changed in the past five years, and a third of the non-CIO respondents thought that the CIO had become less relevant. But of the CIO respondents, a mere 14 percent shared that opinion. In the TechPro Research Report, The CIO As Business Catalyst—Role, Relevance and Value, 64 percent of CIO participants thought their role was more relevant, but only 38 percent of the non-CIO respondents agreed.
The survey shows differing views on the role of the CIO. While almost two-thirds of CIOs thought the CIO role has become more relevant, only 40 percent of the other respondents agreed with this premise.
Survey respondents who rated innovation and creativity as either somewhat or very important within their organization were asked their views on the CIOs’ impact in these areas. Of the CIO respondents, 94% felt that the CIO role had either a strong impact or some impact on technological innovation and creativity at their companies, and 69 percent of the other respondents agreed.
View the ZDNet article, “Research: Is the Role of CIO Still Relevant” for more information on the study and a couple of interesting charts that contrast these viewpoints. You can also download the full report for more information, but you have to be a Tech Pro Research subscriber.
I find this research interesting and provocative. It was encouraging that CIOs are confident that they are impacting the technological innovation at their companies and the majority of their colleagues recognize it, but the discrepancy between the views of CIOs and their colleagues on whether the role of the CIO has become more relevant shows that CIOs need to raise their visibility within the organizations so department heads and other C-level executives can better understand the value of the CIO role.
What do you think—is the role of the CIO more or less relevant than it was five years ago? Are CIOs driving the technological innovation within your company, and do CIOs need to do a better job demonstrating their value within the organization and articulating the relevance of the CIO role to the company?