CIOs Face Shift to Indirect Control

    When Harvey Nash USA released the results of its 2013 CIO Survey, the trend was clearly toward a more strategic position for this executive-level position. But how is that manifested? Control over both budgets and technology is becoming more indirect for many CIOs, year over year.

    Slide Show

    Today’s CIO: More Collaboration and Influence, But Less Control

    Will an increase in indirect control in some areas, as in BYOD, mean more direct control in others?

    Much recent coverage on IT Business Edge suggests to me that may be the case.

    On innovation, the Harvey Nash CIO Survey says:

    • Only 3 percent of CIOs believe their organization’s innovation potential has been fully realized, down even further from last year’s 5 percent.
    • 69 percent of CIOs say they are spending too little time and too few resources on innovation projects.
    • Changing business priorities, lack of budget and a deficiency of the right internal skills are cited as the biggest barriers to achieving innovation.

    Perhaps it’s a matter of perception. Mike Vizard, writing about another survey, this one by Gartner on CIO objectives for 2013, found that “The good news is that there is now a lot more emphasis on business innovation versus cost cutting.” As CIOs use their direct influence to guide integration and data projects, the interconnected nature of technology creates new opportunities for innovation.

    On outsourcing, the Harvey Nash CIO Survey says:

    • 68 percent of CIOs said their expectations are exceeded or met by offshore partners, up 6 percent from four years ago.
    • More U.S. CIOs are investing a greater proportion of their IT budget in outsourced projects for the first time in four years, with 38 percent of CIOs planning further increases in IT outsourcing spend this year.

    IT staff hiring, at the same time, is up, too. Much of that hiring is driven by, you guessed it, the need to innovate, writes Susan Hall.

    On investment in technology, the Harvey Nash CIO Survey says:

    • Three biggest investments by CIOs: cloud (63 percent), mobility (62 percent) and collaboration (46 percent).
    • BYOD (bring your own device) makes a debut this year, at a notable 35 percent of CIOs planning to invest.

    No argument here: These investments in cloud, mobility, collaboration and BYOD are going where the enterprise sees opportunity for expansion, efficiencies and competitive position.

    On women in IT, the Harvey Nash CIO Survey says:

    • 10 percent increase from last year in recognition that women are underrepresented and more needs to be done to formalize workforce diversity in hiring practices.
    • Small increase of women in business-facing IT roles, up from 13 percent to 18 percent suggesting more IT departments have women on staff.
    • Six percent increase over last year in recognition that an unintentional gender bias exists and a slight uptick indicating that gender bias is intentional.

    Don Tennant has been researching these very issues for months, finding that “the idea that men are more tech-savvy than women is a myth that’s debunked by research on technology adoption among women,” and that “some of the qualities that make women such effective IT leaders are the very same ones that contribute to the gender inequality that those women suffer in the workplace.” Rob Enderle also observed that at the highest corporate levels, women are not doing all they can to mentor and support each other in career development and aspirations.

    Latest Articles