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Employers Want CIOs to be Strategists or Revolutionaries: Deloitte Survey

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Survey explores current views of the role of the CIO and how IT should contribute to organizations

Driven by rapid advancements and integrations of new technologies and evolving business needs, the role of the chief information officer (CIO) is shifting from steward to strategist or revolutionary, according to a new Deloitte survey of information technology (IT) executives in the United States. 

According to the poll, 45 percent of nearly 1,000 IT executives surveyed say their own CIO is viewed as a steward while another 45 percent say their CIO is a strategist. The remaining 10 percent claim their CIO is a revolutionary - a percentage Deloitte expects to grow as technology continues to change the way business is done.

Among respondents who do not view their CIO as a revolutionary, 66 percent believe that to be a revolutionary CIO requires four critical skills - industry knowledge, business knowledge, technological experience and staff development. 

"Two years ago the goal of the CIO was to cut costs and keep the lights on. They were a steward. They protected current assets and worked with available resources," said Suketu Gandhi, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP.

Gandhi adds, "Improvements in the economy and advancements in technology now provide CIOs more tools and resources at their disposal. Mobility allows employees and resources to be available at any location; social platforms facilitate real time conversations; analytics provide virtually instant insights for better decision making; and cloud technologies provide a platform for services to be delivered on a moment's notice.

"These combined technologies give the CIO the opportunity to be an active strategist and decision maker within their respective organizations, and can allow them to be a revolutionary force. The CIO will increasingly have the ability to actually change how business is conducted."

The perception of the CIO within a company contrasts survey respondents' understanding of what IT's primary contribution to an organization should be. A majority (60 percent) of survey respondents think IT should facilitate growth and productivity -- nearly twice as many respondents that believe IT needs to be a competitive advantage (36 percent) for their company.

The poll was conducted during Deloitte's Dbriefs Technology Executive series: "CIOs as Revolutionaries: A Step Change in the Business-IT Relationship" on July 7, 2011. For more information and to view the full results of the poll please visit http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_US/us/Services/consulting/all-offerings/hot-topics/tech-trends/54bd791d1de80310VgnVCM1000001956f00aRCRD.htm.

As used in this document, "Deloitte" means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries.  Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.




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