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"In the past, it used to be enough to be just the techie guy. Today, you need to be a good business consultant to the CEO, the COO and even the CFO."
Jörg Wahlers, CFO
Villeroy & Boch

The DNA of the CIO provides fresh insight into what it is to be a Chief Information Officer (CIO) today.

For many years, CIOs have been talking about becoming a true partner to the business. But relatively few have broken out of their comfort zones to actually become one, as the survey highlights. The encouraging news is that many CIOs find the remit and responsibilities of their role hugely rewarding and enjoyable.
In this report, we:

  • Update the now-clichéd 'watchdog' to 'true business partner' story and address what partnering really means for the CIO
  • Explore the aspirations of those in the job - and the skills and relationships that a successful CIO needs to master the changes, challenges and expectations of the role
  • Look at how CIOs are perceived by the C-suite and the elements to building key stakeholder relationships as one of the biggest barriers ahead for CIOs
  • Provide insights into the demographics and attributes which make up this unique community within EMEIA and the rest of the world

The report is based on our survey of 301 senior IT professionals from Europe, North America, Asia, Latin America, Australia and South Africa. It also draws on in-depth interviews with a further 25 CIOs from these regions. A further 40 respondents from across the rest of the C-suite were polled to provide a perspective on how the CIO is perceived by the rest of the executive management team.

The characteristics of today's typical CIO

The average CIO is a 43-year-old male. He has typically been in his job for five years.

Seven years is considered to be an appropriate tenure, although the rest of the management leans toward eight years.

The most common level of education is a degree in IT (49%). Relatively few hold a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree (10%).

The majority of their career has been spent in the IT function only.

They have less than a one-in-five chance of having a seat at the top management table in their own company.

As might be expected from anyone with a C-level title, he is highly motivated, works extremely hard and delivers on the (often too low) expectations of the leadership.

There is room for improvement when it comes to communication and leadership skills.

In the spotlight

  • The transition to CEO: Read The transition from CIO to CEO. Andrew Rashbass, CEO of the Economist Group gives his view on the transition.
  • Hunting down the best talent - a recruitment perspective: Read hunting down the best talent - a recruitment perspective. Magnus Graf Lambsdorff, Partner at Egon Zehnder International outlines what chief executives typically look for in a CIO.
  • The media perspective: Read The CIOs changing role - a media perspective. Bryan Glick, Editor-in-Chief of Computer Weekly gives his view on how the CIO role has changed.

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