More CIOs report directly to the CEO (34 percent) than at any time in the past decade, rising 10 percent over last year, according to the 2016 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey. CIOs with a direct report to the CEO are also the happiest (87 percent report job fulfilment). The findings highlight how CIO priorities continue to shift, revealing the CEO now focuses on IT projects that make money (almost two thirds, 63 percent), compared to save money (37 percent). In fact, some of the traditional top CIO priorities have seen the biggest drop in importance over the last four years. Increasing operational efficiencies has dropped 16 percent, and delivering stable IT performance has dropped 27 percent.
However, the survey showed that despite being more creative and increasing their influence, CIOs say they still are being hindered by the greatest technology skills shortage since the Great Recession almost a decade ago. Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of CIOs say they believe a lack of talent will prevent their organization from keeping up with the pace of change, a 10 percent increase in just 12 months. Data analytics is the most in-demand skill for the second year running, at 39 percent. The biggest jump in skill demand year-over-year is digital, up 21 percent and security, up 17 percent. Companies most crave the newer digital and IT strategy skills, according to the survey.
In its 18th year, the Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey is the largest IT leadership survey in the world, and more than any other time, the survey results reveal an undeniable increase in the influence of the CIO. There is even more significant change happening with CIOs in smaller businesses, as they are more than five times as likely to spend the majority of their time working on external-facing projects such as developing stakeholder relationships and growth strategies, instead of traditional IT functions like systems and infrastructure.
“Whilst the Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey reveals the CIO is enjoying unprecedented influence, it also shows the role is being stretched in many directions,” said Albert Ellis, CEO, Harvey Nash Group. “From grappling with an increasing cyber security threat, to working with the board on innovation and digital transformation, CIOs in 2016 are dealing with a more varied range of challenges than ever before, many of which are far, far away from traditional IT. Adaptability, influencing skills and an ability to keep a clear head in uncertain times are becoming increasingly important business skills for today’s CIO. “
From an Australian perspective: Guy Holland, Head of Digital, KPMG Australia commented: “These results clearly show a maturing view of digital within organisations. With the significant slowdown in growth of the standalone CDO role, and only 16% of CIOs ‘owning’ the digital strategy, organisations are taking a more holistic view of the importance of establishing a pervasive digital-first mindset and skillset across their enterprise.”
“Australian businesses will need to adapt and enhance the skills of their employees in many areas and also apply a greater focus to the cultural dimension of digital transformation,” he added.
Additional findings from the 2016 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey include:
Women in IT – Women in IT leadership roles rises by a third
Digital – Less evidence of a turf war over who owns it
Cyber security – A third of global CIOs responded to cyber-attacks in the last two years
Outsourcing and contingent labor – for skills and flexibility, not to save money
Head of Communications, KPMG
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