New-Age CIOs Exude Greater Optimism
While the CIO’s role is going through a major transformation, a new study sees a growing spirit of optimism amongst CIOs, especially the new-age tech executive who are in their 30s. The Harvey Nash survey that interviewed over 3200 CIOs and technology leaders from companies around the globe attribute this optimism to growing budgets, a shift from cost saving to investment, a focus on innovation, digital transformation and an increasingly strategic role for many CIOs in the industry.
“CIOs are becoming more important to their organisations” on the basis that “More than half of those holding CIO posts have a seat at the top table as genuine members of the executive team,” Dr Jonathan Mitchell, non-executive chairman of Harvey Nash’s global CIO practice noted in the report.
Despite this optimism, the survey showed that the percentage of CIOs reporting to the CEO has been static at 32 percent for the past three years and this is area that needs to be addressed. In fact, while it was true that 50 percent of CIOs in the survey claimed to have a seat on their company’s executive board that was two percent less than in 2013 and not many see the CIO role as strategic, said the survey.
It is the new generation CIOs who show a greater level of enthusiasm, pointed out the survey. These IT professionals, touted as IT managers, senior architects, analysts and associate directors believe they can experiment with emerging technologies such as cloud, mobile, social and analytics, which can enable them to drive customer engagement and organizational growth. “These CIO idolize Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey or, even, Edward Snowden for their vision for a 21st century Internet,” says the study, while they have respect for technologists like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.
While a number of issues need to be addressed, the good news for IT professionals in general was that CIOs expressed significantly greater concerns about skills shortages, which was not so much of a priority earlier. Sixty percent were concerned about a lack of technology talent, compared to 45 percent in 2013. Focus on driving revenue growth, engagement with customers and enabling business change have also gone up among new age CIOs, as they see these factors as a key survival strategy in the coming days.
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