CIOs are still not able to establish IT as a strategic business partner within the company. This is one finding of the cross-national CIO study by Deloitte, which took place in several industries. Almost 70% of the over 700 IT managers surveyed across 36 countries describe the support and the implementation of business strategies as the most valuable benefit of their work. At the same time, 61% feel as though they are not being treated as an equal partner. Budget conflicts increase this impression even further. The authors of the research advise IT managers to better network with other departments, as this, they feel, could be key in improving the situation long-term.
The study also identifies further issues. More than half of all CIOs have difficulties finding staff with the right combination of skills in technology and business acumen, and the ability to think and act in the company’s best interests remains a very sought-after employee competency. Almost half of those questioned said that qualified personnel who are able to think strategically and communicate in a goal-oriented manner were also hard to find. One possible countermeasure, the study proposes, would be the creation of more development opportunities. Only 12% of the CIOs, for example, indicated that they use their employees in other additional business areas. According to Deloitte, rethinking and revising talent strategies will become a fundamental task for CIOs in the near future.
Great potential in Big Data and analytics
Another sore point is the topic of innovation. For two-thirds of the CIOs surveyed, innovation is an essential component of business strategy. Three-quarters of those questioned indicated that they have a concrete idea of what they can contribute to their company’s innovation strategy. Two out of three IT managers, however, believe they do not play a significant role in innovation
development. According to the CIO study, great potential lies within technical areas such as Big Data and analytics. Superior structuring and improved analysis capabilities for big volumes of data offer CIOs opportunities to contribute value and receive recognition within the company.
In a nutshell, the requirements and demands that CIOs must fulfill are growing, along with the significance of their role within the company. The study’s authors see substantial opportunities of development for IT managers who are able to break down old structures and open themselves up to new, holistic approaches.