Canadian technology executives are speaking out about their changing roles in corporate cultures, according to new research from Robert Half Technology.

The US-based human resource consulting firm has discovered that only five per cent of Canadian CIOs today believe their roles are primarily functional, which is in stark contrast to the 36 per cent of CIOs that believed this just five years ago.

The research continues to say that more than one in three (36 per cent) of the 270 Canadian CIOs surveyed for this believe their role is mostly strategic – meaning they are gravitating towards big idea thinking and away from smaller daily tasks.

“As the shift to a technology-driven economy has occurred, so has the role of the CIO within organizations,” Deborah Bottineau, senior regional manager of Robert Half Technology, tells IT World Canada. “While some organizations may still be ramping up their mobile, big data and digital initiatives, many now have a firm tech foundation in place; now a CIO in most cases is being looked at to lead, manage and recommend the best programs and to evolve their technologies, and enhance the business.”

She adds that as a result, CIOs have become accustomed to taking on these larger, strategic initiatives for the organization, and letting other team members step in to lead the more functional, day-to-day activities.

“CIOs and the companies they work for recognize the importance of technology at work, and are leading the shift to considering strategy-focused CIOs as pivotal to remaining competitive,” Bottineau explains. “While technology was a back-office function at one point, today, CIOs are an integral part of a business’ strategy, productivity and overall success.”

As companies continue to rely more and more heavily on IT and technology, even for the most basic business functions, much of its performance is “dependant on the effectiveness and reliability of that technology,” she continues. This has put a premium on the professional overseeing the tech projects, of which CIOs are often central to implementation.

Additionally, Robert Half also asked respondents what they are most interested in when looking for a new position. Interestingly, being a consultant or having more control over their schedule was the most popular choice, with 39 per cent of CIOs naming this flexibility as the most important aspect in a job hunt. Running their own company took second place (26 per cent), followed closely by a higher salary (24 per cent).

“Take advantage of resources, such as specialized staffing experts, who can help you establish a tailored hiring strategy that ensures access to a network of skilled tech professionals with the insight and expertise your company needs,” Bottineau advises.



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