CIOs don’t get a seat at the top table: Study

CIOs don’t get a seat at the top table: Study

But CEOs clearly need ‘co-drivers’ who combine technology expertise with business knowledge.

Less than one in five CIOs have a seat at the boardroom table and only 43 per cent are involved in executive decision-making, according to a new study.

Ernst & Young surveyed more than 300 senior IT professionals, CIOs and executive managers worldwide, including some in Australia, to capture views about the changing role of the CIO.

The “DNA of the CIO” report found that less than half (48 per cent) of c-suite executives think the standing of CIOs has improved in recent years on many issues from production innovation to “helping deliver on the operational agility of the company".

The report also found that 60 per cent of CIOs think they add strong value to “fact-based decision-making when setting corporate-strategy”, but only 35 per cent of their c-suite peers agree.

Furthermore, only 43 per cent of CIOs report that they are deeply involved in strategic decision-making. This is reflected in almost four in 10 (38 per cent) of respondents reporting a lack of support from the executive management team as a major issue, particularly within larger companies, the report said.

Jason McLean, IT advisory leader at Ernst and Young, said it was surprising that some CIOs are not regarded as true members of the executive management team.

“While they have obvious technological expertise, often they are not perceived to have the right level of business skill or expertise,” McLean said.

He added that CIOs need to evolve to play a more significant role in shaping the future direction of performance of the business.

“Those who don’t will run the risk of being further relegated down the corporate hierarchy or sidelined altogether,” he said.

“CIOs know that they need to engage better with the CEO and the board if they are to move the conversation beyond the basics and discuss how technology will enable new products and services, distribution strategies and business models,” McLean added.

The research also found that the average CIO is a 43-year-old male with the most common level of education being an IT degree (49 per cent). Only 10 per cent hold an MBA and the majority of their careers have been spent in the IT function.

Follow Byron Connolly on Twitter:@ByronConnolly

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