Letter from the Editor-in-chief

After two or three years of turmoil, this year’s CIO Insider Survey shows CIOs gaining acceptance and respect in the executive ranks.

There’s good news for those who still wonder about the stability of the CIO’s role. For the 236 top IT executives who responded to our survey, the average time in the job is 5.4 years. More than half have been in the job for more than four years. You’re also gradually gaining greater acceptance at the senior level of the organization, with slightly more than one third of you reporting to the CEO; a total that’s up significantly from four years ago.

CIOs clearly see the importance of their relationships with the rest of the executive team, reporting that interacting with the company’s CxOs and business executives gets the lion’s share of their time. And it’s paying off, with almost 60 per cent of top IT executives now part of the executive team and 64 per cent of all respondents enjoying an effective relationship with their business peers.

Clearly respondents see their role as strategic, citing the ability to communicate effectively as the number one skill required for success, followed closely by the ability to think strategically and understand business processes and operations.

There’s evidence of a renewed faith in the ability of IT to create competitive advantage. Almost half of respondents identified this as a key objective for the coming year and the most important accomplishment of the past year.

Aligning IT and business goals remains most important and it is a most elusive objective. Controlling IT costs is still cited as important, but has dropped several places on the priority list from a couple of years ago.

Technology priorities for the coming year are solidly focused on business issues for the extended enterprise. These include optimizing the supply chain, improving customer relationships and e-commerce initiatives. Technologies such as grid-computing and RFID are on the take up cycle, but are priorities for only a few respondents.

The survey is still in field, with 304 responses recorded so far and 236 of them from the top IT executive in their organizations. It’s a great response from such a small and time-challenged community. We’ll be analyzing the results for the next few weeks and reporting on them as we uncover items of interest.

I’m extremely grateful to all who took the time to complete the survey. A small gift and big thanks are already on the way.

[email protected]

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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