Tomorrow's CIO Looking Very Much Like Today's CEO, InformationWeek Research Finds

New research finds emerging challenges abound for Tomorrow's CIO: Mastering Business Processes, Creating Customer Value and Experience Outside of IT

Aug 5, 2008

InformationWeek, the leading multimedia business technology brand, released the results of an in-depth study that delves into the role of the CIO and their evolving influence within their organizations. The study, "Tomorrow's CIO", reveals that companies continue to demand business innovation and technology vision from CIOs while looking to CIOs for leadership across a broad range of issues. In addition, there are signs that the perception of the CIO role has slipped among other corporate officers, according to the latest report by InformationWeek's Analytics (, an exclusive IT research and analysis service from TechWeb's InformationWeek ( The InformationWeek Analytics Report on Tomorrow's CIO, written by John Soat, is now available at 4 (Due to length of URL, please copy and paste into browser and remove the space if one exists)

InformationWeek found that companies will continue to expect more than infrastructure management from CIOs and their IT organizations. The attributes considered extremely important by at least eight of 10 people surveyed are leadership, effective execution, collaboration, vision, innovation, and team building. In the survey of 720 business technology executives, 78% believe that the need to optimize business processes will drive the CIO's influence as a leader.

Still, the study offers warning signs for CIOs. Only 39% of corporate managers outside IT say the influence of the CIO is increasing, down from 43% in InformationWeek's research a year ago. CIOs are slightly more bullish on themselves: 55% say the CIO's stature has increased in their organization, down from 66% a year ago. One third of the corporate managers surveyed describe the CIO as "actively involved" in the big corporate decisions, the same as last year. But only 30% of CIOs describe themselves as "actively involved," down from 38% last year.

The research points to even greater changes for the CIOs waiting in the wings. New and future generations of CIOs will need a different skill set to master the CIO role of tomorrow. Experience other than IT is increasingly more critical to the CIO of tomorrow. Expectations are high for tomorrow's CIO -- a tech-savvy business leader and innovator, aggressive and effective, visionary and practical, innovative and process orientated.

The survey indicates how important diverse experience is to the CIO role of the future. Effective future CIOs will likely need experience running a business unit outside IT. (see chart below)

  Very important                                        36%
  Valuable, but not critical                            58%
  Not important                                          6%

Although there are signs pointing towards less CIO influence, leadership continues to top the list of attributes critical for tomorrow's CIO; this was cited by more than nine of 10 respondents.

  The survey shows the following ranking of for CIO attributes:

  Leadership                                           94%
  Ability to execute and meet deadlines                89%
  Collaboration and communication                      88%
  Vision                                               85%
  Innovation                                           81%
  Team building                                        80%
  Consensus building                                   68%
  Technical breadth and depth                          55%
  Raw intellect                                        53%
  Sales orientation                                    35%

The report also cited the major obstacles confronting CIOs and topping the list is the view of IT as a cost center rather than business enabler. The survey shows the following list of obstacles facing CIOs:

                                                  CIOs/VPs   Corporate
                                                   of IT      Managers
  The fact that IT is still viewed as
   a cost center                                    70%          66%
  The burden of ongoing IT maintenance              57%          50%
  The fact that top management lacks
   technology vision                                41%          30%
  Inability to attract and retain top
   business technology talent                       31%          29%
  A risk-adverse corporate culture                  29%          25%
  The fact that more business executives are
   involved in technology strategy                  22%          24%
  Diminished influence of the CIO in the
   senior management ranks                          20%          13%

"There's a dichotomy developing around the perception of the CIO. Where some organizations see a competitive advantage in their IT organizations, others suffer from the legacy perception that IT is a cost to be minimized," said Art Wittmann, Managing Director of InformationWeek Analytics. "Increasingly it's up to the CIO to prove the worth of IT investments."

In conjunction with this research, InformationWeek also offers The CIO Assessment Tool, which evaluates the preparedness of CIOs for tomorrow's challenges. CIOs can assess their readiness by visiting: =208403497 (Due to length of URL, please copy and paste into browser and remove the space if one exists)

These survey results punctuate the theme of the 2008 InformationWeek 500 Conference, "Tomorrow's CIO." The annual event will be held September 14-16, 2008 at the St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, CA. The prestigious event will not only celebrate naming the top 500 IT organizations, it will also focus on preparing technology executives to meet the needs of tomorrow's dynamic business environment.

The 2008 InformationWeek 500 Conference provides insights to the skills, experience and expertise that will ensure success for the CIO of the future. The Conference will feature in-depth, expert-led discussions on what it takes for current and next-generation CIOs to prosper, peer group dialogue including innovative sessions with leading CIOs designed to spark ideas and interaction, a keen focus on the technologies that will drive tomorrow's businesses and proven, unconventional strategies and processes to make it happen.

To learn more about the Tomorrow's CIO research study, please visit: . To learn more about the 2008 InformationWeek 500 Conference, please visit or contact Scott Vaughan, Vice President, Marketing, TechWeb at or 949.223.3662.

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