CIOs Play 'Increasingly Strategic Role' in Organizations

Around the globe, CIOs are playing an increasingly driving role in strategy and innovation in their organizations, according to a new study released this week by the Center for CIO Leadership. But CIOs still have a considerable way to go before they become "full and active participants" in creating strategies, the study found.

The study, dubbed the "2008 CIO Leadership Survey," gathered data from some 300 CIOs in 45 countries spanning 32 industries and concluded that these leaders are in the strongest position they've ever been in to help drive growth and change in the enterprise. Among the findings, CIOs are increasingly leading change, with 91 percent of participants indicating that they have a "clear vision of how IT will drive business forward" ad with 90 percent indicating that they "lead and influence others, even without formal authority."

Other findings about CIOs included:

  • 85 percent head up initiatives "to ensure their organization is flexible for change";
  • 87 percent reported having "strong relationships" with other executives; and
  • 69 percent have "developed a process to delegate authority to enable time for strategy."

"The 2008 CIO Leadership survey results confirm that the role of the CIO today is strong, but work still needs to be done. The CIO is the only executive that has an end-to end view of global business processes, and thus is uniquely positioned to move from technology implementer to strategic business advisor," said Harvey Koeppel, executive director of the Center for CIO Leadership, in a statement released Tuesday. "Now, more than any other time in recent memory, CIOs are better positioned to lead, and businesses have never been more open to the type of transformational improvements the CIO function can deliver."

However, to a certain extent CIOs are still stuck in a technical role (of all things) rather than a strategic one. Only 67 percent are "active participants" in developing strategy, and, only 63 percent reported having been able to secure resources for technology-driven initiatives. Further, only 64 percent reported having a plan in place "to grow and acquire talent."

.".. CIOs have a ways to go to become full and active participants in creating the strategy of the business versus implementing the technology solutions that drive the business," according to a document released by the Center for CIO Leadership.

Further information, including an excerpt of the "2008 CIO Leadership Survey," can be found on the Center for CIO Leadership's site here.

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).


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