Universal skills

The keys to being a successful CIO are the same around the world. Like CIOs in the U.S., IT executives in Singapore, Sweden and Germany cite good communication skills, ability to think strategically and understanding business processes and operations as the skills that are most pivotal for success. Swedish CIOs add “being a good leader” to their list.

CIO Insider Survey: status, skills, salaries, and more

Results of a recent CIO Insider Survey on the state of the IT executive profession in Canada, written by CIO Canada’s David Carey. Read the article.

Reporting relationships

In most countries surveyed, CIOs tend to report to an executive other than the CEO. Not so in Japan and South Korea, where more than two-thirds of IT executives have the CEO for a boss. Regardless of whom they report to, CIOs in the U.S., Canada, South Korea and Singapore say they spend the most time interacting with other business executives.

Strategic planning priority

Like CIOs in the U.S. and Germany, IT executives in Southeast Asia give strategic planning a high priority. But getting it done is less of a struggle for Southeast Asians. They rank finding time for strategic thinking and planning near the bottom in a list of 10 barriers to their effectiveness.

Canada: Getting closer to the business

CIOs in Canada spend the bulk of their time meeting with their company’s executives and working with both IT vendors and non-IT business partners. Their U.S. counterparts say they spend a good portion of their time planning strategy, in addition to meeting with company executives and IT providers. However, the greatest hurdle for U.S. and Canadian IT executives alike is unrealistic or unknown expectations from the business. It’s no surprise that aligning IT and business goals is a top goal for 2005 for CIOs in both countries.

Spending: How IT spending is controlled (Respondents could check more than one answer.)

United States

62% Centrally controlled by IT organization

35% Blended control by IT and business units or functions

4% Directly controlled by business units or functions

30% IT and the business primarily share accountability for ROI from IT investment

12% IT is primarily accountable for ROI from IT investment

7% Business unit leadership is primarily accountable for ROI from IT investment

Canada

42% Centrally controlled by IT organization

32% Blended control by IT and business units or functions

4% Directly controlled by business units or functions

42% IT and business leadership share accountability for ROI from IT investment

20% IT leadership is primarily accountable for ROI from IT investment

9% Business unit leadership is primarily for ROI from IT investment

Sweden: Leadership and Technology

IT executives in Sweden rate being a good leader as a key skill, and rank technical proficiency as more important than it is for U.S. CIOs. IT executives in Sweden rank technical skills fifth on the list of personal skills most pivotal to their success. It’s seventh in the U.S.

The keys to success: Personal skills most pivotal for success in the CIO role

United States

1) Ability to communicate effectively

2) Strategic thinking and planning

3) Understanding business processes and operations

Sweden

1) Good communication skills

2) To be a good leader

3) Ability to think strategically German IT executives listed the shortage of time for strategic thinking/planning as the second biggest barrier to their effectiveness, after unrealistic or unknown expectations from the business. Text

Germany: Talking Strategy

While fewer IT leaders hold the C-level title in Germany than in the U.S. (25 percent versus 49 percent), they are focused on business strategy. That’s what 56 percent of IT executives in Germany are spending most of their time on, though they’d like to dedicate even more time to this task. German IT executives listed the shortage of time for strategic thinking/planning as the second biggest barrier to their effectiveness, after unrealistic or unknown expectations from the business. CIOs in the U.S. rated expectations from the business and inadequate budgets as their top hurdles to effectiveness with lack of time for strategic planning ranked third.

Top three activities: How CIOs spend most of their time (Respondents could choose more than one answer)

United States

71% Interacting with your company’s CXOs and business executives

58% Strategic planning

54% Interacting with IT vendors/outsourcers/service providers

Germany

56% Strategic planning

55% Leading projects

43% Business processes

Australia: All About Money

Sixty percent of CIOs in Australia report that their budgets are determined by the business units, which accounts for their focus on generating revenue through IT in 2005. CIOs in Australia say that IT’s greatest impact this year will be on revenue generating activities.

IT’s Contribution: Expected impact of IT in 2005

United States

1) Reduce costs through efficiency/increased productivity

2) Enable/drive business innovation

3) Create or enable competitive advantage

Australia

1) Generate new revenue streams

2) Grow existing revenue streams

3) Create competitive advantage

Asia/Singapore: Risk Awareness

Economic risk is a greater factor for CIOs in this part of the world. CIOs in Singapore listed risk and uncertainty due to volatile economic conditions as one of the top three hurdles to their effectiveness. U.S. CIOs rank this sixth. Additionally, ensuring data security and integrity is the number one technology spending priority for this year for Singapore’s CIOs. It’s number two in the U.S., behind integrating/enhancing systems and processes.

The state of the (IT) union: CIO to CEO

CIOs must exert the extra effort to forge a sound relationship with CEOs. Meta Group’s Al Passori explains why. Read the article

Support versus leadership: The IT department’s role in the organization

United States

IT should support and enable predefined business initiatives 31%

IT should proactively envision business opportunities and apply technology to achieve them 69%

Asia/Singapore

IT should support and enable predefined business initiatives 73%

IT should proactively envision business opportunities and apply technology to achieve them 27%

South Korea: Focus on Labour

CIOs in Korea spend more of their time hiring and managing the IT staff than CIOs in the U.S. South Korean CIOs list this activity second, compared to fifth in the U.S. Hiring and retaining IT staff is also among the top three management priorities this year for CIOs in South Korea, versus 5th priority in the U.S. And yet outsourcing is somewhat more prevalent in South Korea: 85 percent of IT departments there report that they outsource, compared to 80 percent in the U.S.

Outsourcing Levels: How much of IT is outsourced? </



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