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State of the CIO 2015

Byron Connolly and Nadia Cameron | Oct. 8, 2015
If there’s one thing all CIOs arguably now have in common, it’s that they can’t escape the impact of digital change.

The majority of CIOs (87 percent) either strongly agreed or agreed the CIO role is becoming more important to the business. Notably, 88 percent of CIOs that report to CEOs saw the CIO role as becoming more important to the business, compared to 73 percent for CIOs who did not report directly to the CEO.

It was also made clear that CEO support is a vital key to gaining such business clout. Just 28 percent of CEO reports felt their role was being sidelined in the business, compared to almost half of non-CEO reports. Overall, the number who thought the CIO had been sidelined dropped from 38 percent to 27 percent year-on-year.

Mitchell has seen a real change in the way his company’s CEO and chairman consults him about business strategy.

Mitchell was given the dual role of CIO and director of operations just over 12 months ago, and now has a revenue target to meet. He sees this as indicative of the trust he has gained with other senior managers.

“You’ve got to build that trust. Once they know you are commercially astute, that’s where the trust starts,” he says.

For Matthew Perry, CIO at DuluxGroup, IT at his firm is a little way behind in terms of business recognition, but is on a mission to transform from a traditional IT function into a strategic partner to the business.

“Running IT like a business is key. The ability to articulate value [to the CEO and other executives] that IT delivers to our customers and consumers is a critical step in this journey,” he comments. “Delivering an agile, adaptable, business-focused and value-adding service is another step.”

IT versus line of business

As technology becomes the foundation for all aspects of efficiency and innovation, technology knowledge and utilisation is rising across the business. This is triggering a substantial shift in the relationship between IT and the lines of business, and particularly IT and marketing.

Last year’s report showed 26 percent of respondents had mutually shared and measurable goals with their marketing function. This year, 83 percent expected to collaborate on a specific business initiative with their chief marketing officer over the next 12 months. The only peers higher were finance and operations, both not surprising given so many CIOs report to these functional heads.

Marketing’s meteoric rise as a technology investor and user in this year’s report again reflects how important customer engagement and experience management is becoming in modern business. Fifty-seven percent of all respondents said marketing has budget specifically earmarked for technology product and services investment in the next three years, a clear functional leader.


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