The strategic influence of chief information officers is on the decline as churn within the sector hits new heights, according to research from professional recruitment consultancy Harvey Nash.
The annual survey of over 650 U.K. CIOs and senior technology professionals revealed that one in 10 felt their role was becoming less strategic and more than half (58 per cent) expect to have moved jobs in the next two years.
The survey, conducted in partnership with PA Consulting, revealed that 46 per cent of CIOs are on the board, and only a third (35 per cent) report direct to the CEO. Belief in the strategic value of IT has dropped year-on-year: only 61 per cent of respondents thought the role of the CIO was becoming more strategic, down 15 per cent on last year.
This drop in confidence is shared by board-level peers, with half of CFOs (47 per cent) viewing IT solely as a support function with no need for board representation. A perceived failure to deliver on innovation is to blame: 65 per cent of businesses have no structured approach to IT innovation and, when they do innovate, the majority (78 per cent) reported only reasonable or limited success.
As a result, more and more senior IT professionals are on the move. More than a quarter (28 per cent) said they would leave their current role to have more hands-on involvement in business strategy; a similar number (29 per cent) are already actively looking.
John Whiting, MD of U.K. IT Business at Harvey Nash, said: “It is a concern that the strategic influence of CIOs has eroded in recent years, but even more worrying is the restlessness this creates in the sector. This year alone has seen a 15 per cent increase in the number of technology leaders occupying their current role for less than a year.
“The most effective and satisfied CIOs will remain those embraced by main boards, and those in environments which fully comprehend the critical influence of IT upon a company’s success. In return, senior IT professionals clearly have to continue to prove that their contribution is intrinsic to success and growth.”