Insights from our 2011 IBM Global CIO Study

It is a very exciting time in Business & Technology innovation.
Globalization, cloud computing, ubiquitous high speed access and new
business models are all dramatically increasing the complexity of
business and are also creating significant new opportunities.

How
are technology leaders helping their organizations adapt to the
accelerating change and capitalize on this complexity? To find out, we
spoke in person with 3,018 CIOs, spanning 71 countries and 18
industries. These in-person conversations, along with our statistical
analyses of responses, underscore the evermore vital role of the CIO.
The results and findings are detailed in our latest IBM C-Suite Study —
The Essential CIO: Insights from the Global Chief Information Officer Study.

CIOs
are in a unique position to help their public and private sector
organizations to capitalize on this rapidly evolving business
environment. To increase competitiveness, 83 percent of CIOs have
visionary plans that include business intelligence and analytics,
followed by mobility solutions (74 percent) and virtualization (68
percent). When asked to rank the impact of external forces, the newest
ranking by CIOs more closely matched the list that CEOs identified in
our 2010 CEO Study.

Perhaps
the most useful insight to emerge from this study, however, is not what
makes CIOs the same, but what makes them different. The primary
differences among the CIOs we spoke with lie in their organizations’
business needs and goals, and how CIOs can achieve those goals by
leveraging business and information technology.

 

 

 

THE CIO MANDATE

CIOs everywhere
spend at least part of their time on IT fundamentals. Beyond managing
the prerequisites, our research identified four distinct “CIO Mandates.”
These mandates were derived from iterative analysis, including
state-of-the-art statistical and textual analysis of the thousands of
CIO responses. It revealed typical response patterns associated with
each mandate. Each pattern indicated a distinct approach to IT
leadership derived from specific organizational needs.

image
Delivering
on the CIO Mandate is the key to success, all while keeping an eye on
the horizon and fostering innovation. CIO Mandates represent a single
point in time. A mandate can change when an organization’s needs and
objectives change, perhaps in response to economic, competitive or
technological forces. Regardless of mandate, our study shows that
certain “essential actions” can prove valuable to CIOs.

Yet
whether an organization requires an emphasis on delivery of essential IT
services or challenges the CIO to pioneer new opportunities, CIOs need
to innovate. With ongoing technological shifts, the seemingly endless
onslaught of data and the increasingly frenetic pace of change, making
incremental improvements to operations may no longer be sufficient.

I encourage you to continue the conversation at ibm.com/theessentialcio

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