IT knowledge is a dangerous thing, say CIOs

User group CIO Connect says that chief information officers find it difficult to match the expectations of the business, just as the business is getting smarter about IT

Chief information officers are feeling the pressure, with half believing it is becoming increasingly difficult to meet the expectations of the business, according to the latest Census of IT leaders by CIO Connect.

One reason is that their colleagues may have a better grip on IT issues -- two thirds of CIOs interviewed conceded that the average business manager's knowledge of IT is improving. As a result, the more line-of-business managers know about IT, the more they are going to complain when they feel they are not getting enough from the IT department.

But CIOs also contend that their knowledge of the business is improving, with 75 percent believing that they are the source of new ideas for business solutions.

The CIO-level view of the tangled relationship between the business and the IT department is at the heart of the annual Census from CIO Connect, a networking organisation for senior IT management, which is sponsored by the SAS Institute. But the message is not all bad.

"This year’s Census shows CIOs have a firm grasp of the business challenges ahead and are working to deliver... business agility," said Margaret Smith, chief executive of CIO Connect. "It is also clear they are spinning more plates than ever before. Today’s CIO has to be a manager, a leader, an innovator, a teacher, a policeman and a politician all rolled into one."

The survey was conducted with 122 UK CIOs across all industry sectors. A pdf of the research summary is available here.