Chief information officers (CIOs) are
bypassing their long time rivalry with the finance department and
increasingly reporting to the chief executive, according to an
Preliminary results of IDC's "Forecast for management" survey
of around 150 senior IT managers in Australia found over 57
percent of respondents reported to the chief executive officer
The finding is a marked shift from the traditional reporting
line, whereby the CIO would report to the finance department
"CIOs are now clearly in favour with the CEO," Catherin
Bennett, director, IT Management Programme, IDC, told attendees
at the IDC Directions 06 conference in Sydney.
IDC had seen a 19 percent increase in survey respondents
reporting to the CEO since 2003, according to Bennett. The survey
is conducted annually. Survey respondents ranged from small to
large organisations and across industry, according to IDC.
The shift in reporting lines would result in "greater lines of
communication, greater understanding of the direction of the
business, and a really clear alignment between the direction of
IT priorities against the direction of the business," said Bennett.
Although in favour with the CEO, this did not mean CIOs
workload had become any easier.
Responsibility for mobility technologies (like mobiles and PDAs), office
equipment like printers and multi-function devices, and records
management were all increasing the workload on CIOs, the survey detailed.
In addition, it was becoming standard for CIOs to have to
justify their investments within a timeframe.
"Return on investment timeframes are dominating our
respondents. They have to demonstrate a return on every IT
investment in 12 months. In fact 23 percent of our respondents
have to do so," she said.
An additional 19 percent had to demonstrate
return-on-investment within a 12-24 month period.
"So this is 42 percent of our respondents have to demonstrate
a very clear return on every IT investment within 24 months."