Two thirds of CIO’s time is spent keeping the lights on

Chief information officers in the UK are still spending two thirds of their time keeping the lights on, according to research.

Sixty four percent of their time was spent managing existing IT systems, and only 36 percent on delivering innovative technology, the research, by Colman Parkes for SaaS vendor Salesforce, found.

The CIOs expressed frustration at the lack of time they had to innovate. Of the 100 surveyed, 96 said coming up with new ideas and systems was meant to be an important part of their job.

Part of the problem was money, 60 percent said, and over half highlighted time as an issue. But nearly a third said the attitude of senior management, combined with company culture, presented an obstacle to change.

CIOs had trouble effecting change because of a lack of influence. Only 14 percent said they sit on the management board.

One of the areas of change that some CIOs expect to make is a shift to some cloud computing. While 38 percent use software on the web, in the next five years a further 17 percent expect to make the move.

Mobile working was another key area, with 34 percent saying it was a key challenge in their company. A quarter said their company had “not yet” resolved the issue of giving mobile workers access to applications when they need them.

Andy Jacques, VP Northern Europe at Salesforce, which commissioned the survey, said CIOs wanted to “go beyond” simply maintaining existing systems and instead deliver change.

The survey questioned 100 senior It directors and was evenly split between small companies of 100 — 500 employees and 50 medium/large companies with over 500 employees.

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