Project Management

Leadership and the CIO: Too Little, Too Late?

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

At the turn of the century most would have agreed with the notion that the CIO was gaining ground as a true leader within organizations. Now in 2010, the pendulum may be swinging in a different direction. While some believe CIOs have truly proven themselves during the current recession, surveys seem to disagree with how the CIO’s value is being perceived by the CEO. Consider the following excerpt from a recent CIO Zone article entitled “CIOs Seen as More Strategic During Recession” that reflects how CIOs see their performance:

“With so much CIO bashing going on these days, including a steady drumbeat of uncertainty about the future of the CIO within the enterprise … 71% of senior IT professionals polled in a recent survey by Harvey Nash USA and PA Consulting Group said their roles were becoming more strategic. In fact, for the first time since the survey began in 1998, more than half say they sit on the operational boards of their companies.”

Converse to this sentiment is the results of a recent Gartner Group Survey also summarized at CIO Zone, entitled “Grappling with the CIO-CFO-CEO Reporting Dynamic". Here, as summarized below, the viewpoint differs:

“The CFO is increasingly becoming the top IT decision-maker in many organizations. The study, which is based on a survey of 482 senior finance executives, also…

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