Saturday, September 19, 2009

CIO and Business Leadership: IBM Posts New Report Results

IBM's New CIO Study Results

IBM released its global 2009 CIO Results recently. The results determined that CIO’s in high growth companies focus on three primary goals, each of which has a pair of roles that the CIO successfully blends together.

See the executive results at:

Study Highlights

•IBM conducted more than 2,500 face-to-face interviews with CIOs in 78 countries and 19 industries. The CIOs were from organizations of all sizes. 90 percent of the CIOs believe IT will undergo moderate to significant change of the next few years due to changes in business models, budgets, and the economy. CIOs are currently spending 55 percent of the time addressing new business and technology initiatives, innovation, and non-technology business issues. CIOs in high growth companies feel they manage change successfully 50 percent more often than those in low growth companies. The high growth CIOs focus on making innovation real, raising the return on investment (ROI) in IT, and expanding business impact.

• CIOs that make innovation real are those that are insightful visionaries and able pragmatists while those that raise ROI are both savvy value creators and relentless cost cutters. Those CIOs that expand the business impact show the traits of collaborative business leaders and inspiring IT managers. The below spider chart shows the difference between high growth CIO characteristics (in green) and low growth CIO characteristics (in orange).

• Other findings were that many high growth CIOs had COOs in their organizations and more of them reported higher up in the organization. Visionary CIOs are twice as likely to be deeply involved in the business while other CIOs view themselves more as core technology providers. The top 10 visionary plan elements are business intelligence and analytics, virtualization, risk management and compliance, mobility solutions, customer and partner collaboration, self-service portals, application harmonization, business process management, SOA/Web services, and unified communications. High growth CIOs more readily recognize the strategic value of data and seek new ways to integrate, made available and deliver reliable, secure information to users. Nine of the 60 or so hours of the work week are spent cutting costs. By a 70 percent margin high growth CIOs over low growth ones create IT centers of excellence to help realize business and technology innovation.


We know first hand from our experiences at Helix that CEO’s are heavily dependent upon CIO’s to achieve their strategic and tactical objectives, and how well CIO’s deliver upon those objectives will have a major impact on the top and bottom lines. For IT executives to become successful business leaders, they must focus on the broader business and external market forces such as economic, industry and legislative factors and view IT as simply a capability to achieve business goals.

CIO’s need to be active in the business and striving to communicate clearly the investments relevant to supporting the lines business goals. Planning practices need to be tighly integrated with lines of business plans so clear line of sight can be measured for effective value alignment.

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