2015 Global CIO Survey


2015 Global CIO Survey

Creating legacy

This year’s survey received responses from over 1,200 technology leaders across 43 countries, including representation from over a quarter of Global Fortune 1000 organisations, giving a truly international perspective of the nature of CIOs role and legacy today.

What do CIOs do? Our key findings

Our 2015 report explores how CIOs deliver value and prepare for what comes next. Despite our initial hypothesis, we found no significant differences across industries, geographies and company size in how CIOs delivered value. Instead we discovered that CIOs deliver value by adopting one of three behaviour patterns: trusted operator (42%), change instigator (22%) or business co-creator (35%).

The report explores:

  • Framing the CIO legacy: the survey shows how the four framing elements that are business priorities, leadership and talent, relationship and technology investment shape the context in which CIOs deliver value today - and tomorrow.
  • Sculpting your CIO legacy: which CIO are you? We identified three distinctive patterns based on how CIOs navigate the framing environment.
  • Navigating the legacy landscape: No matter what pattern you fall into, it’s crucial to adapt your approach to changing business circumstances, adjusting the way you interact with peers and the business based on your time and place.
  • CIO legacy as both art and science: Participating CIOs gives their candid views on their personal passions and motivations to do their job.

Framing the CIO legacy

Business priorities: CIOs around the globe were nearly unanimous in identifying the top five business priorities as performance, cost, customers, innovation and growth.

Leadership and Talent: Ninety-one percent of CIOs acknowledged lacking at least one key leadership capability. The three skills with the largest gaps were the ability to influence internal stakeholders, talent management and technology vision and leadership.

Relationship: CIOs identified CEOs, CFOs, business unit leaders, and COOs as their most important relationships

Technology investment: Despite innovation being one of the top five business priorities two-thirds of technology budgets are still spent on maintaining day-to-day business operations.

Sculpting your CIO Legacy

We uncovered three different patterns that describe how CIOs are delivering value today - and how they are preparing for what comes next. These patterns provide a powerful approach to understand how CIOs must adapt to meet the dynamic requirements of their roles - and build a lasting legacy.

Trusted operators deliver operational discipline within their organisations by focusing on cost, operational efficiency and performance reliability. They also provide enabling technologies, support business transformation efforts, and align to business strategy. They spend more than 50% of their time on ensuring operational efficiency and rarely lead business transformation and growth initiatives.

See the trusted operator infographic.

Change instigators take the lead on technology-enabled business transformation and change initiatives. They allocate significant time to supporting business strategy and delivering emerging technologies. They focus about 40% of their time on driving complex business transformation efforts and 25% on delivering operational efficiency.

See the change instigator infographic.

Business co-creators spend most of their time on business strategy and enabling change within their businesses to ensure effective execution of the strategy. They spend about 30% time on driving business strategy and innovation, then equally spread the remainder across the other three dimensions.

See the business co-creator infographic.

Navigating the legacy landscape

One CIO legacy pattern is not better than the others. What matters is choosing the pattern that matches the business need.

There are the six journeys a CIO may take over the course of his/her career to best served the business needs at every given time.


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