Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation
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3/28/2008
04:56 PM
John Soat
John Soat
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And The Survey Says …

The CIO must be the most surveyed profession on the planet. No wonder a new survey says CIOs are dissatisfied with their jobs -- they're tired of being surveyed.

The CIO must be the most surveyed profession on the planet. No wonder a new survey says CIOs are dissatisfied with their jobs -- they're tired of being surveyed.CIOs are a long-suffering bunch. Not only do they have to deal with frustrated users, know-it-all bosses, aggressive vendors, and overly complex and under-performing hardware, software, and network systems -- they're constantly getting calls to take surveys.

I don't want to appear hypocritical here. InformationWeek does its share of CIO surveys, and we're very grateful to the patient and very kind tech executives who are so generous with their time to be involved with our research. The insights and information they provide us are invaluable, as a media company, and -- we hope -- to the readers of and participants in our media properties.

I'm just wondering: When will CIOs start fighting back?

A new survey by recruiting firm Harvey Nash USA says CIOs are finding their jobs less satisfying these days. Only 79% of the survey's 258 respondents this year said their jobs were either "fulfilling" or "very fulfilling," compared with 88% who answered that way last year. And that means almost a quarter (21%) this year find their jobs "not very fulfilling" or "not fulfilling at all."

Perhaps that helps explain why 82% of CIOs surveyed are either looking for a new job or would consider one: 10% actively looking, 18% "selectively applying," and 54% would entertain a new opportunity if it knocked at the door.

All this despite the fact that CIO pay is up -- way up:

There has been a rather significant increase in base salary for IT leaders. Two years ago only 36% earned more than $125,000 a year; last year it was only 70%; this year it is 75%. Even more significant is that last year only 41% earned more than $150,000; this year it is 56%. Those earning more than $200,000 per year increased from 19% last year to 29% this year.

That's decent money. There's only one way I can reconcile why CIOs would be unhappy or want to change jobs with that kind of income coming in: They're tired of taking surveys.

Understandable. But I've got one comment: You can run, but you can't hide.

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