CIOs feel uninvolved in business strategy

Survey reveals that three-quarters of chief information officers do not believe they exert a strategic influence on their business

UK CIOs feel left out of the business loop, with nearly two-thirds blaming unclear and unrealistic business objectives for failing IT projects.

More than three-quarters (76 percent) of CIOs said they did not consider themselves a strategic influencer within the business, according to a survey by IT services company Atos Origin.

But more than half (56 percent) of those surveyed saw themselves as a "manager of IT and of outsourced IT suppliers", according to the survey.

Atos Origin chief operating officer John Stevenson said CIOs are preoccupied with managing multiple IT suppliers and relationships, without the appropriate internal infrastructure and governance, leaving them little time to focus on developing their roles within the business.

Stevenson added that this impacts an IT department's ability to provide innovative solutions to make a company more agile and increase its business advantage.

According to the survey, 92 percent of CIOs encourage innovation, but only 13 percent formally measure the return on investment it provides.

When asked to name the top issues preventing their success, 61 percent of CIOs named unclear and unrealistic business objectives as the number-one barrier.

Legacy systems and undersized budgets came in joint third position, with 48 percent of the CIO vote each.

A lack of business involvement and interest came in fourth (42 percent) and the IT skills shortage took the fifth spot (25 percent), according to the survey of 125 CIOs and senior IT staff in UK organisations with more than 1,000 employees.

Nearly two-thirds (59 percent) of CIOs said an "increased interest and involvement of the business in IT strategy and planning" would help them do their job more effectively and 54 percent asked for a bigger IT budget.