Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation
Commentary
12/11/2008
01:23 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
50%
50%

Half Of CIOs Fail To Show Business Value, Study Says

A recently released study on CIO leadership revealed that 51% of CIOs "have developed business-value indicators that link IT performance metrics and business goals." That means 49% are failing to make and communicate this absolutely critical connection. How can those 49% expect to keep their jobs if they're not proving they deserve to keep them?

A recently released study on CIO leadership revealed that 51% of CIOs "have developed business-value indicators that link IT performance metrics and business goals." That means 49% are failing to make and communicate this absolutely critical connection. How can those 49% expect to keep their jobs if they're not proving they deserve to keep them?Commissioned by the very credible Center for CIO Leadership, the study offers a range of interesting insights into the CIO profession from four perspectives: leadership, business strategy and process, innovation and growth, and organization and talent management. But the finding noted above about the massive gap in delivering and/or communicating business value was a real shocker to me -- how can it be that half of all CIOs would allow this to happen?

Without question, the research study (copies are available if you register at the Center for CIO Leadership site) highlights a number of areas in which CIOs continue to make big contributions as business leaders and strategic thinkers, so I don't mean to sound like I'm pouring curmudgeon-powder in the punch bowl. But the bald truth is that CEOs are no longer going to accept yesterday's approaches to tomorrow's challenges, whether those are offered by the CFO who doesn't grasp risk mitigation or the CMO who thinks Web 2.0 tools are juvenile or the head of sales who resists transparency.

And for CIOs, that means the failure to "have developed business value indicators that link IT performance metrics and business goals" will be unacceptable. And how could it not be? The CIOs participating in the study represent huge, complex companies that have become incredibly dependent on business technology to remain competitive and forward-looking -- how can they afford to have a CIO who either has not or will not develop insights that allow other executives to gauge his performance?

I'll return to this study in future posts to look at more of the findings -- and again, some of them reflect very well on the state of the profession. But it would be a mistake to gloss over this glaring reality because, no matter what the other results may be, this is a condition that will surely fulfill the urban myth that CIO stands for "career is over." Tell me if I'm wrong.

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