Forces Shaping the CIO Agenda in 2011 - Slide 7

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An organization’s position on the utility-to-innovation continuum is not fixed. In order to get the balance right, CIOs need to:

  • Foster a shared understanding between IT and the business of the issues the CIO should be prioritizing. CIOs need to look ahead at the internal and external factors that will determine these issues and create a shared vision and understanding.
  • Consider the current and ideal position of their organization on the utility-to-innovation continuum – CIOs should recognize that, before they can innovate successfully, they need to earn trust by getting the utility component of their activities right.
  • Ensure their team can accomplish both utility and innovation activities concurrently and flexibly. These different types of activity require different approaches, skills and attitudes. For example, any kind of innovation requires an open culture of collaboration where the business is willing not only to take a risk but also to accept the possibility of failure.

Ultimately, an organization’s position on the continuum will reflect a series of movements as CIOs react and adapt to the forces shaping their environment. Those that get the balance right will ensure that they and their functions are on the path to increasing their influence in the business, rather than simply being facilities managers.

A 2011 survey of over 2,500 CIOs and IT leaders by PA Consulting Group and Harvey Nash reveals that CIOs are playing an increasingly influential role within their organization. However, management boards are still demanding that CIOs save costs, increase operational efficiencies and deliver consistent and stable IT performance to the business.

If cost, efficiency and stability become a CIO’s sole focus and IT work is increasingly outsourced, then the future for those CIOs is as facilities managers. In PA’s view, keeping the lights on and reducing costs are only half the role.

The good news is that there is an opportunity for CIOs to take action and build on a trend of growing influence. The survey shows that 50 percent of CIOs now sit on the operational board or executive management team, almost 40 percent have seen their budgets grow over the past year and the same number have seen their salaries increase in the past 12 months.

This slideshow highlights the key market and internal forces that are shaping the landscape from the CIO perspective in 2011, as well as tips on how to achieve the right balance on the utility-to-innovation continuum.

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