Deloitte: survey reveals that CIOs not viewed as 'natural choice' to drive technological innovation

Out-Law News | 24 Sep 2014 | 4:53 pm | 1 min. read

Chief information officers (CIOs) are not viewed as natural drivers of technological innovation within business, according to a new report.

A survey of more than 900 CIOs conducted by Deloitte (3.3MB PDF) found that 42% of respondents said they have a "very good relationship" with their chief executive (CEO). However, 79% identified their relationship with their chief executive as very important. The CIO-CEO dynamic was identified as the most important of all internal relationships with other executives that CIOs may have, according to the Deloitte report.

With new roles such as chief digital officer or chief data officer being created across industries, Deloitte said that there is an onus on CIOs to "nurture stronger and trusted relationships with emerging business leaders who champion disruptive trends". CIOs should work with individuals in these new roles "to enable innovation and growth", it said.

However, Deloitte said the survey findings "suggest that business leaders do not always believe CIOs are the natural choice to drive technological innovation for growth". It said, though, that "that perception may be changing".

According to the survey, CIOs' IT budgets have generally increased. The top priority identified by CIOs for the next 12-18 month period is to "support new business need". Driving digital strategy was the next biggest priority identified by the respondents, ahead of strengthening risk and security management and reducing IT costs.

Almost a third of CIOs surveyed by Deloitte (30%) said they would put more money on analytics and big data solutions if they had the funds, compared with 17% of respondents that said they would direct extra money towards the development of mobile apps. According to the survey report, CIOs said that a lack of skills and a lack of a "centralised approach to capturing and analysing data" are the two biggest barriers to the widespread use of analytics within organisations.

CIOs identified delivering business outcomes through IT services as both the most important and mature element of their jobs. The second most important dimension of their role was identified as being to enhance customer experiences through technology, with harnessing the better use of data and investing in emerging technologies having lesser importance.

The majority of CIOs described themselves as more risk tolerant than risk averse. However, 52% of respondents said that whilst innovation is considered a priority within their organisation, it receives only a small proportion of the IT budget. Business leaders' attitude to risk was identified as the number one "constraining factor" stopping CIOs from "making riskier IT investments".