CIOs sometimes get knocked for the disappointing success rate of IT projects. Yet at least part of the problem may not be under their control, according to an article on silicon.com.
It highlights an EDS-commissioned survey of CIOs at 350 companies listed on London's Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE). The survey found that tech bosses in the UK stay on the job for an average of 38 months, while their U.S. counterparts have even shorter tenures, of about two years.
Such quick turnovers can't do much for the success rate of IT projects. EDS notes that any projects not commissioned within 100 days of a CIO's hire date may not be completed under his or her watch.
If the survey attempted to analyze reasons behind the short tenures, the article doesn't elaborate on them. But in December we linked to an earlier article written by an EDS fellow that may offer some clues.
The fellow noted that CIOs must fill at least seven roles in addition to chief information officer: chief investigative officer, chief international officer, chief inoculation officer, chief identity officer, chief innovation officer, chief integration officer and chief irritation officer (and catalyst for change). That's certainly a lot to put on one person's plate.
A similar theme is echoed in a recent Bank Systems & Technology article with the telling title: "A New Kind of Executive Needed for Future Bank CIOs." The need for a "new" CIO is manifesting itself sooner rather than later as technology is squarely at the center of bank business, says an Accenture expert quoted in the article. But there is little doubt that other industries will (quickly) follow.
An IBM executive says bank CIOs must be able to handle the globalization of financial services as well as other economic and demographic shifts that are impacting the industry. As if that wasn't a big enough challenge, there is a long laundry list of regulation and compliance issues that must be addressed. She says:
(The CIO) needs to manage across many cultures, whether within the company or abroad. You also will need the ability to create effective partnerships, especially around innovation. ... A CIO needs to have the ability to create business models that are innovative, rather than [only] creating new products or services.
Another skill that the "new" CIO will need is the ability to manage multiple outsourcing deals, says an analyst from Financial Insights. We just blogged about this trend earlier this week.