Chief information officers stay in their job for just over three years, even though the complex technology projects they are in charge of can take far longer to deliver results.
According to research commissioned by EDS, UK tech chiefs stay in their posts for an average of 38 months. By comparison the chief information officer tenure in the US is only around two years, EDS said.
With such a fast turnover of top tech executives, any IT project needs to be commissioned within 100 days of an IT boss being appointed, the company said.
The survey of chief information officers at FTSE 350 companies also found the majority (41 out of 50) have a technology background and most (38 out of 50) are recruited from outside the business.
Positions the chief information officers held before their current jobs typically included other senior IT positions, management roles, management consultancy and posts in engineering and finance fields.
EDS warned that chief information officers are also caught in the "value trap", where 80 percent of their budget goes to keeping legacy systems alive.