Female CIOs expect bigger budget increases

Female CIOs expect bigger budget increases

Women also more concerned than male about under investment in risk initiatives

If you’re a female CIO, you could expect a bigger budget increase this year than your male counterparts.

Female CIOs worldwide expect to increase their budgets by 2.4 per cent in 2015, compared to male CIOs who report average increases of only 0.8 per cent, Gartner has found.

The researcher spoke to 2,810 CIOs worldwide, representing more than $397 billion in CIO IT budgets across 84 countries, with 13.6 per cent of the respondents being female.

Tina Nunno, VP at Gartner, said although it’s not entirely clear why this difference exists, further survey data indicated that female CIOs are more concerned about under investment in risk initiatives than male CIOs.

Women were slightly more likely to agree that the digital world is creating new and different types of risk and that agility will be important in dealing with these risks.

“The risk data, combined with budget numbers, may indicate that female CIOs are more focused on the resource side of the digital equation than their male peers are, and therefore, requesting and accumulating more IT budget money,” Nunno said.

The data also found that reporting structure impacts the budgets of male CIOs more significantly and adversely than female CIOs. When male CIOs report to the CEO, they report a significant increase (2.8 per cent), but their budgets remain flat in all other reporting relationships.

Meanwhile, the top five technology priorities identified by the survey are the same for male and female CIOs – analytics, infrastructure and data centre, cloud, enterprise resource planning, and mobile technologies.

“For good or bad, women and men view the top priorities identically,” said Nunno. “Variations in top priorities in past CIOs surveys could often be attributed to significant differences in the industries where male and female CIOs worked.

Read more: What it’s like to be CIO for a not-for-profit

“However, more recent data shows little difference in the gender dispersion of CIOs across all industries, which may account for the consistency in prioritisation.”

The survey data also indicated that female CIOs are more in agreement that analytics is increasing in importance for their organisations. Overall, female CIOs are 10 per cent more likely to agree strongly that there is a shift from backward-looking reporting to forward-looking analytics, Gartner said.

This difference is more extreme when the CIO reports to the CEO, when the percentages become 42 per cent for females and 23 per cent for males CIOs respectively, Gartner said.

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