Fish in water


Issues for CIOs: Living up to expectations

How can CIOs best balance their own priorities and the expectations of the business?

Strategic Chief Information Officers (CIOs) understand that to be successful they must partner closely with business leaders. Aligning their priorities with the priorities of the business will allow them to ascend to a more strategic position.

Deloitte’s analysis suggests that CIOs and the business need a tighter alignment when it comes to IT risk management/security and the development of IT talent/culture.

CIO priorities: Business expectations vs IT priorities

According to a recent prediction, in a few short years, the compensation of 80 percent of IT executives will depend on their ability to drive business performance and growth.1 If this is truly the case, it is essential that CIOs align closely with their business leaders and understand their respective priorities.

Using data from Deloitte’s 2018 global CIO survey, we compared how technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT) CIOs view both the business’s expectations for the IT function, along with their own priorities.2

In general, CIOs appear to be in sync with the business and share similar strategic priorities. There is a clear separation between the strategic and operational sides of the business—with the strategic functions having higher priority and expectations. However, our analysis revealed two potential disconnects between the business and the IT function.

As our chart illustrates, the first of these gaps relate to IT talent and culture development, where it appears that CIOs must do a better job of getting the business to care about these priorities. The ability to gain this buy-in from the business is essential to both the CIO’s personal success and to meeting the company’s strategic needs. Fifty-four percent of TMT CIOs reported that building high-performance teams is one of the top factors contributing to their personal success as leaders. In three years, it will increase to 68 percent.

There is also misalignment between CIOs and the business when it comes to managing IT risk and security. Although CIOs know that the business has high expectations for cybersecurity effectiveness, they tend to rank several other priorities ahead of it. Clearly, management of IT risk and security cannot be taken for granted—by the business or IT. Security and talent are critical to delivering on the business strategy and corporate priorities.

So, what do CIOs think will help better align the business and IT function, beyond a strong dialogue? According to our CIO survey respondents, the top two best practices are:

  1. Ensuring joint accountability between business and technology owners, and
  2. Involving technology leaders in business decision-making.

Sitting at the intersection of technology and business, CIOs are increasingly expected to do more than ever. This makes the partnership between CIOs and their business leaders incredibly important. It is sometimes said that “you don’t have an obligation to live up to the expectations of others.” However, in this case, both personal and business success depends on it.

This charticle authored by David Jarvis on January 3, 2019.

2018 global CIO survey

Manifesting legacy—looking beyond the digital era

Today’s successful organizations—and their CIOs—are adopting a technology-led, business-enabled mindset to drive transformation, growth, and revenue. Based on insights from more than 1,400 global executives across 23 industries, we highlight how digital vanguards are leading compared with baseline companies and the ways that technology leaders can pivot to successfully lead their organizations—and their people—into the future.

Back to top

Colorful zoom lens


IDC Reveals Worldwide CIO Agenda 2019 Predictions”, BusinessWire, October 31, 2018.
Insights from Deloitte 2018 global CIO survey, Deloitte Insights, August 8, 2018.

Site-within-site Navigation. Do not delete! This box/component contains JavaScript that is needed on this page. This message will not be visible when page is activated.

Fullwidth SCC. Do not delete! This box/component contains JavaScript that is needed on this page. This message will not be visible when page is activated.

Did you find this useful?