Who's your boss? CIOs stepping up to report to CEO

Who's your boss? CIOs stepping up to report to CEO

CEO relationship best managed through business unit leaders

If reporting lines is a good indication of the relevance of a position within an organisation, the CIO is becoming increasingly important as fewer will report to people other than the CEO in the coming years.

CIOs in Australia and New Zealand either report to the company’s CEO (35 per cent), the CFO (26 per cent), the COO (24 per cent), or some other title (15 per cent).

This is set to change dramatically over the next three years with some 56 per cent reporting directly to the CEO in 2013.

The shift will be at the expense of CFOs (19 per cent) and other titles (6 per cent), while 20 per cent will continue to report to the COO.

The findings are part of the 2010 Gartner Executive Programs CIO Survey which has 1586 participating CIOs across 41 countries.

Linda Price, group vice president of executive programs at Gartner Asia Pacific, said when CIOs are directly under the CEO it is an “appropriate reporting line” for the position.

Although more CIOs may find themselves reporting directly to the CEO, Price said: “The relationship with the CEO is best managed through the business unit leaders”.

As to how long a CIO is expected to remain in the position, local CIOs are averaging 4 years at their current post, compared with 4.5 years globally.

Gartner is adamant CIOs will lead today and re-position IT for the future, but CIOs looking to raise their profile, and that of IT, need to overcome three hurdles.

First, CIOs need to concentrate on raising enterprise effectiveness through focused projects and services.

Price said this will involve more smaller projects than traditional large projects.

CIOs also need to leverage current reporting relationships so that executives can sponsor CIO involvement outside IT.

The ability to transition IT management practices and metrics from a technical to business orientation.

Price said business leaders should be concerned less about “cutting my way to glory”, but as things have solidified to look more at IT output.

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