CIOs are aligning themselves and their teams more closely than ever before to the key business objectives of their CEO and C-suite business partners, and have never been in a better position to help drive growth and change in their enterprise.
However, the 2008 IBM CIO Leadership Survey also notes that CIOs have a ways to go to become full and active participants in creating the strategy of the business versus implementing the technology solutions that drive the business.
Results of the survey were presented yesterday around the world.
The survey represents the insights and aspirations of almost 300 CIOs from 45 countries and 32 industries across the globe, and reinforces the increasingly strategic role that CIOs are playing as leaders in their companies and as drivers of innovation.
The findings of the survey focused on four key areas that are crucial to the success of the CIO: Leadership, Business Strategy and Process, Innovation and Growth, and Organisation and Talent Management.
"The 2008 CIO Leadership survey results confirm that the role of the CIO today is strong, but work still needs to be done," says Harvey Koeppel, executive director of the Centre for CIO Leadership.
"The CIO is the only executive that has an end-to end view of global business processes, and thus is uniquely positioned to move from technology implementer to strategic business advisor. Now, more than any other time in recent memory, CIOs are better positioned to lead, and businesses have never been more open to the type of transformational improvements the CIO function can deliver."
From the 2008 CIO Leadership survey, four strong themes emerged about the global CIO profession:
* CIOs are leaders in their organisations and are playing an increasingly important role in leading change. 91% of CIOs responded that they have a clear vision of how IT will drive business forward, and 90% said that they lead and influence others, even without formal authority. 85% lead initiatives to ensure their organisation is flexible for change.
* CIOs have a seat at the executive table, with 87% of those surveyed having strong executive relationships. However, CIOs have not yet fully seized the opportunity: only 67% are active participants in developing business strategy.
* CIOs are emerging as leaders of innovation and bringing those ideas to the table, but there is a real opportunity remaining to fill the innovation execution gap. Less than two-thirds (63%) of CIOs have successfully secured resources for innovation by identifying technology-enabled business opportunities.
* CIOs know where they need to lead their IT organisations, but continue to struggle with delegation and building the next generation team. While 93% of respondents know the critical competencies their team requires, only 64% have a plan to grow and acquire talent, and only 69% have developed a process to delegate authority to enable time for strategy.
The survey also highlights opportunities for CIOs to improve their skills in business strategy and other key areas to increase their impact on their enterprise. With the help of the member CIO community and academic partners, the Centre has created a valuable education path to help fill these gaps