CIO Strategic Marketing Services / IDG Research Services survey sponsored by
The survey, commissioned by
Currently, many CIOs and other IT executives spend much of their time "keeping the lights on," with 48 and 47 percent of respondents of selecting "improving IT operations / system performance," and "implementing new systems and architectures" as one of their top five areas of focus, respectively. Despite these day-to-day demands, many IT executives surveyed also manage to engage in a variety of business activities, including 45 percent of survey respondents who note that they currently spend time aligning IT initiatives with business goals.
In the coming years, IT executives want to spend more time contributing to business strategy, according to survey results. When asked where they would like to spend more time in the next three to five years, survey respondents indicated that they would like to identify opportunities for competitive differentiation (48 percent); cultivate the IT / business partnership (42 percent); drive business innovation (41 percent); align IT initiatives with business goals (35 percent); and develop and refine business strategy (32 percent).
Given the chance, the surveyed IT executives believe they could be valuable contributors to business strategies. Among the respondents, 78 percent rated their knowledge of the business as either "excellent" or "good" and 66 percent said their receptiveness to new ideas coming from business units was "excellent" or "good." Even given the opportunity to innovate, many felt stymied by factors outside their control. When asked if they had the budget to support and enable new business ideas, 57 percent said their available budget was only "fair" or "poor," and 62 percent said the same about their staffing levels.
Other challenges remain before IT will be viewed as a contributor to business strategy. When surveyed IT executives were asked to describe how their companies' business stakeholders viewed the IT organization, only 10 percent said they were perceived to be "business peers" engaged in developing, not just enabling, business strategy. Even fewer of the business stakeholders (4 percent) were thought to perceive IT as a "business game changer" that serves as the primary driver of the enterprise's competitive future. Meanwhile, the IT respondents said that nearly 30 percent of business stakeholders still consider the IT department to be merely a "cost center," and the survey showed that new IT projects are more frequently initiated by business champions approaching IT (77 percent) than by IT approaching business (68 percent). According to the survey, IT and business representatives only collaborate to jointly identify new projects and opportunities for innovation 16 percent of the time.
"IT is a source of key business innovation, and it is the responsibility of IT executives to communicate the strategic value of that innovation," said
See the results of the "CIOs at a Technology and Cultural Crossroads" survey and view an infographic on the survey results at http://enterprisersproject.com/cio-report
Methodology and Demographics
CIO Strategic Marketing Services /IDG Research Services conducted an online survey on behalf of
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