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The Wrap: 2018 State of the CIO Survey

In this session, attendees were provided a sneak-peak at the results of the 17th annual State of the CIO Survey. More than 1000 people responded to the survey this year, including more than 750 of the global heads of IT who are top decision-makers in their business unit, division, location, or across their enterprise. There were also 250 line of business (LOB) participants, whose responses were presented side-by-side with those of higher-level executives in the survey.

Some of the key takeaway’s from this session were:

  • 47% of the CIOs report directly to the CEO, although a large portion of these IT leaders (51%) are working for SMB companies (less than 1,000 employees) as compared to larger enterprises.
  • Eighty-eight percent of heads of IT are saying their role is becoming more digital and innovation-focused, although 73% report it is more challenging to find that right balance between innovation and staying connected to the customer and operational excellence (worrying about risk management, making sure that the back office is working as well).
  • The number of executives who classify themselves as ‘transformational CIOs’ has held steady between 45% and 55% for the last eight years, although due to major economic incidents like the Great Recession, a number have had to take on functional responsibilities involving staffing, budgets and projects that may have been put on hold.
  • This is the first year in a decade that “aligning IT initiatives and business goals” was not the number one choice in terms of objectives (came in second.)  Security management topped the list, growing 13 points year over year. Aligning security and IT strategies also went from 37% of respondents in 2016 to 54% today.
  • CEO’s top priorities for the CIO in 2018:  security, driving revenue growth, and leading digital business initiatives.
  • There was a decline from 59% to 50% in plans to increase budgets, although the biggest decline was on the SMB side (45% increase), as oppose to 57% in the enterprise.
  • 55% of the IT budget sits within IT, with the remaining outside IT control and across business lines (although most CIOs have no issue with budget falling outside of IT.)  These budgets are spread out evenly across marketing, operations and finance.
  • Budgets are primarily structured as federated, or shared models – essentially meaning IT has its own budget and control and there are budgets outside of IT.   However, IT may have liaisons (business relationship managers) whose responsibilities cross between the two groups, with some having dotted reporting lines.

This virtual session, presented to CIO Executive Council members and others weeks before the official release of the survey, was hosted by Adam Dennison, SVP/General Manager, IDG Events/CEC & CIO Publisher. Adam was joined by Ron Guerrier, CIO at Farmers Insurance Group of Companies and Kristie Grinnell, CIO & VP Information Technology & Supply Chain at General Dynamics Information Technology.

If you’re interested in participating in virtual sessions like this or would like to learn more about the CIO Executive Council, please contact us