How do you spend most of your working day? Are you running or standing still? For the majority of CIOs, running in the right direction (forwards, obviously) is not an option – they simply have to spend too much time on current concerns.
That is the conclusion of research from the CIO Executive Council, which suggests that while CIOs aspire to be strategic leaders, they lack the time and appropriately trained staff to move out of an operational role.
When it comes to facts and figures, 80% of CIOs aspire to be strategic IT leaders and 44% of CEOs want them to follow that path. Yet only 21% of respondents identify themselves with the transformational role. The survey also reveals the biggest barriers to a business-focused role:
- Developing leadership depth among the IT staff – 53%
- Finding time to shift focus away from IT operations – 38%
- Building credibility with business stakeholders – 34%
- Stabilising IT operations and performance – 33%
- Gaining time to shift focus away from process and system issues – 33%
- Having sufficient knowledge of business and market strategy – 30%
So, the biggest roadblocks are leading people, too much time on IT and not enough true business credibility. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? And it’s a theme that’s already been picked up by IT leaders, with City University London CIO Andrew Abboud tweeting he agrees and that CIOs have to make time to get out of operations.
While that is true, it’s interesting that 44% of CEOs want them to follow the transformational path, which is not a majority. What about the other 56%? Maybe they just want the CIO to stand still and not move towards the future?