Harvey Nash Survey: CIOs Happy, IT Budgets Rising

Retention of top talent is one of the top concerns for IT leaders globally — but on balance, things haven’t been this good in quite a while.
And words like “cloud” and “big data” don’t even appear in these articles.
Watershed indeed.
Summary article by David Weldon in FierceCIO based on a piece by Dennis McCafferty in CIO Insight covering the Harvey Nash research.
Emphasis in red added by me.
Brian Wood, VP Marketing

Today’s CIOs full of attitude … and it’s mostly positive

CIOs have plenty of attitude these days, and the good news is that they’re mostly positive.
That is the finding of recent research by Harvey Nash, a global professional recruiting firm and IT outsourcing provider, which looked at how CIOs view IT in 2014. The firm collected data from more than 3,200 CIOs and IT leaders for the study.
Generally speaking, CIOs are in a good state of mind these days, notes an article at CIO Insight. Contributing greatly to the more positive mood is the recovery from the recession and the fact that IT budgets are on the rise again.
On a personal level, most CIOs reported they feel fulfilled in their job. Most say they are confident about their present jobs and future prospects.
“CIOs are focusing on adding value to their organizations rather than focusing exclusively on the relentless assault on costs,” notes Jonathan Mitchell, chairman of Harvey Nash’s global CIO practice, in the report’s executive summary. “Skills are in demand and technology is making an even bigger impact on people’s lives and the fortunes of corporations and public sector bodies alike … It’s clear that this is indeed a great time to be an IT leader.”
The article notes the following among the findings of the study:

  • 44 percent of executives describe themselves as CIOs, up from 11 percent a decade ago
  • 32 percent of CIOs report to their CEO, and 18 percent report to the CFO
  • 50 percent of CIOs sit on their organization’s executive committee, up from 38 percent a decade ago
  • 46 percent of CIOs and other tech leaders say their IT budgets are increasing, up from 25 percent five years ago
  • 41 percent say they’ve been in their current role for at least five years, and 78 percent describe themselves as feeling “quite” or “very” fulfilled with their job
  • One-half would like to be in a new role within two years, but just 21 percent say they’re actively seeking and applying for a job
  • 43 percent would like to move on to a more senior-level IT position, compared to 32 percent who would like to become a CEO or other non-tech senior leader
  • 31 percent say their salary has risen in the last 12 months, but 60 percent say their compensation has remained flat
  • 53 percent say their personal bonus is linked to their ability to meet or surpass key performance indicators
  • 90 percent are either concerned or have a “great concern” over the retention of their IT talent
  • 50 percent say that IT owns the digital strategy (as opposed to the marketing department), down from 56 percent last year


Investment in new Technology is growing at a faster rate than at any time since 2006, but digital skills shortages risk holding companies back – CIO Survey 2014

More organisations are reporting increases in investment in technology than at any time since 2006 as business confidence returns and companies act fast to play catch up on their digital offering.
This is according the 16th annual Harvey Nash CIO Survey, representing the views of more than 3,200 Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Technology leaders from across more than thirty countries, with a combined technology spend of over $160bn. The Survey is one of the largest and most comprehensive polls of technology leaders in the world.
As the global economy begins to recover, organisations are ramping up their investment in digital, mobile and online which has had a further knock on effect in the growing skills shortage, with almost two-thirds of companies reporting that lack of access to the right technology talent is holding back their digital strategy.
Record optimism 
Technology budgets are growing as Chief Executives increasingly favour investing for growth over cost reduction and efficiencies. Newly created roles within companies are evolving to lead digital growth, such as the emergence of the ‘Chief Digital Officer’ and the increasing influence Chief Marketing Officers have over technology related spend.
  • Budget growth: Forty six per cent of CIOs and Technology leaders experienced budget growth in the last twelve months, up from 42 per cent last year, and the highest level of budget growth since 2006 (where 47 per cent of Technology leaders experienced budget growth).
  • CEO priorities changing: Almost two-thirds of CEOs (63 per cent) now prioritise projects that generate cash (such as digital marketing, customer oriented systems and innovation led projects) over projects designed to deliver cost savings or improve operational performance. As business confidence improves, CEOs are shifting their attention away from cost saving (their top survey priority for five years between 2009 and 2013) to using technology to improve the effectiveness of their operations (top priority in 2014).
  • Emergence of Chief Digital Officer: Seven per cent of organisations now employ Chief Digital Officers, a position that until recently did not exist, rising to 16 per cent for companies with technology budgets of $100m and over. CIOs are now less likely to have a direct role in shaping the digital strategy, with 50 per cent playing an active role in 2014, down from 56 per cent last year.

New projects and priorities are creating skills shortages: 

For the first time since the recession, the skills shortage is once again appearing as a major management concern. In Asia, for example, the problem is particularly acute. Retaining, developing and acquiring the skills to drive the growth program are now major priorities for leaders all over the world
  • Big jump in skills shortage: Faced with new projects and shifting priorities, sixty per cent of Technology leaders (60%) are experiencing a skills shortage within their teams preventing their company keeping up with its competitors. This is up from 45 per cent last year, and represents the biggest increase since the survey started tracking this area in 2005. 
  • Regional differences: Leaders in Asia are most worried about skills shortages; however, in every region at least half the leaders polled voiced a similar concern. 
UK                              59% 
Asia                            76% 
Northern Europe           61% 
West / Rest of Europe  60% 
Eastern Europe            57% 
North America              56% 
Australasia                   50% 
Table: CIOs indicating concern that skills shortage is hindering progress 
  • Retention of talent a concern: Ninety per cent of CIOs and Technology leaders were concerned about retaining their best people, while 35 per cent were ‘greatly’ concerned. Larger companies (250 technology staff or more) are 46 per cent more likely than smaller companies (less than 50 technology staff) to be ‘greatly’ concerned; suggesting that in the Technology sector smaller, high growth companies are more attractive to talented Technology professionals
  • Emphasis on ‘doing’ skills: Change management and Project management skills are in greatest demand followed by hands-on software development skills and IT strategy. 

Dr Jonathan Mitchell, Chairman of Harvey Nash’s global CIO Practice commented:
“After six years of sluggish activity, this report clearly shows that 2014 is a watershed year. CIOs and Technology leaders are seeing growing budgets and growing prominence in their organisation as CEOs are turning to technology to drive growth. However, significant challenges lie ahead. This year has seen a worrying increase in the number of leaders citing concerns about skills shortages. To be successful, organisations will not only need a clear technology strategy, but they will also need the right people to deliver it.”

CIOs Are Upbeat About Job, Leadership Presence
CIOs Are Upbeat About Job, Leadership Presence