Financial CIOs lack ambition: survey

Summary:Chief information officers (CIOs) from the finance industry have a lacklustre vision of their transformational capabilities, according to a recent survey.

Chief information officers (CIOs) from the finance industry have a lacklustre vision of their transformational capabilities, according to a recent survey.

(Stack of thin flexicover books on reflective table image by Horia Varlan, CC 2.0)

The survey, conducted by KPMG, recognised financial industry CIOs as "comparatively less ambitious" when it came to realising their own IT agendas. Government and public utility CIOs were highlighted as top performers, after maintaining a constant focus on their IT transformations.

However, these less than stellar results from the financial sector pointed towards the impact of the global economic crisis, according to KPMG. The survey highlighted the increased pressure and scrutiny the finance sector experienced during the crisis, in comparison to other industries. It identified this additional pressure as a possible explanation for finance sector CIOs shifting their focus to short term, cost-cutting goals during the downturn.

The results of the survey also identify the need for a shift in the reporting structure of the CIO. "A CIO reporting to the chief executive officer (CEO) views IT more as a critical business enabler ... rather than a CIO reporting to the chief financial officer (CFO)," the report said.

CIOs who directly reported to CFOs were noted as focusing less on innovative transformations, and more on cost-trimming measures. The survey calls for CIOs to be future focused and concentrate less on the day-to-day operation of a business, as they may lose sight of future IT transformational goals.

Cloud computing was outlined as becoming increasingly relevant in the world of IT outsourcing.

"72 per cent of respondents see [cloud] as a good way to outsource IT functionality [however] the preference is for non-critical systems," said the report. It highlighted confusion around cloud-based outsourcing and its regulation, which the survey concluded should dissipate as the technology became more prevalent.

The survey canvassed the agendas of over 4500 CIOs globally and is conducted annually by the firm.

Topics: CXO, Government, Government : AU, Tech Industry

About

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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