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CIO Role Becoming More Strategic, Study Finds

CIOs have come a long way, but they haven't quite reached the status of "full and active participants" in creating strategies in organizations, according to a new study released this week by the Center for CIO Leadership.

The study, dubbed the "2008 CIO Leadership Survey," found that CIOs are increasingly leading change in the enterprise. It surveyed 300 CIOs in 45 countries spanning 32 industries. Respondents described their roles, with 91 percent of participants indicating that they have a "clear vision of how IT will drive business forward" and with 90 percent indicating that they "lead and influence others, even without formal authority."

Other findings about CIOs included:

  • 85 percent head up initiatives "to ensure their organization is flexible for change";
  • 87 percent reported having "strong relationships" with other executives; and
  • 69 percent have "developed a process to delegate authority to enable time for strategy."

CIOs have strong positions but improvements can be made, according to Harvey Koeppel, executive director of the Center for CIO Leadership, in a statement released on Tuesday.

"The CIO is the only executive that has an end-to-end view of global business processes, and thus is uniquely positioned to move from technology implementer to strategic business advisor," Koeppel said. "Now, more than at any other time in recent memory, CIOs are better positioned to lead, and businesses have never been more open to the type of transformational improvements the CIO function can deliver."

However, to a certain extent, CIOs are still stuck in a technical role rather than a strategic one. Only 67 percent of respondents were "active participants" in developing strategy, and only 63 percent secured resources for technology-driven initiatives. Furthermore, only 64 percent reported having a plan in place "to grow and acquire talent."

More information on the "2008 CIO Leadership Survey" can be found at the Center for CIO Leadership's site here.

About the Author

Dave Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's educational technology online publications and electronic newsletters.

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