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10 Top CIO Priorities: The Reality Vs. The Ideal

CIOs are charged with both support and business functions, which means juggling a variety of priorities. However, those priorities don't always match up with where IT leaders would necessarily focus their energies if given a choice. Recent survey results illustrate the disconnect.
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(Image: Juan J. Martinez via Flickr)

(Image: Juan J. Martinez via Flickr)

CIOs are being pulled in multiple directions these days. They are tasked with driving business goals and transformation in the face of fast-paced change. It's no longer enough to simply "keep the lights on," an increasingly difficult task, given that everything from consumerization to mobile initiatives is demanding the attention of IT departments. To navigate those obstacles, CIOs need a roadmap. What better place to get it than from peers? The results of Deloitte's "2015 Global CIO Survey" provides a source of insight into how tech leaders are prioritizing their time.

Deloitte surveyed 1,271 CIOs, or equivalents with titles that included CTO, chief digital officer, etc. (22% held a title other than CIO) from 43 countries. Three-quarters of those surveyed work for companies with more than 1,000 employees. The survey asked a variety of questions about business priorities, leadership and talent, relationships, and investment priorities, but the two questions we'll be focusing on here are: "What will be your organization's top three technology priorities for the next 12 months?" and "Where would you like your IT organization to focus in the ideal state?" Respondents were asked to choose up to three answers on the list.

[Find out about 10 Best Tech Companies to Work for in 2016.]

The noticeable differences between the results of those two questions is very telling. It appears to a certain degree that CIOs are likely being pulled away by business realities, budget, senior leadership, economics, and other factors from a focus on what they deem higher priorities.

We'll countdown respondents' top 10 technology priorities and show you how those priorities compare to what they said those priorities would be in an "ideal state." Hopefully, you are one of the lucky tech leaders who can follow your ideal priorities. If not, you can see how your peers are also being diverted, and in which directions.

Take a look at the list and see how it compares to your priorities. Then tell us in the comments what challenges you see the most when it comes to setting and maintaining priorities.

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David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Enterpriseefficiency.com. Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio

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shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
1/29/2016 | 9:55:49 AM
Re: Innovation
"Unfortunately, it is clear that while they see the need to do it, they can't make it a practical reality. Sadly, only 53% of the CIOs surveyed said that IT was involved in creating new products or services in any way. " this is very true. They always try to be in their comfort zones repeating the same thing. I have seen they not willing to take the challenge if innovation.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
1/29/2016 | 9:55:28 AM
Innovation
Innovation has become a key aspect for any organization. Without innovation it is difficult to be in the market. 
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
1/29/2016 | 9:55:01 AM
Large projects
I think it is very important to have the right project team when initiating these large projects. Without the right resources the CIO will not be able to cater the requirement of the users.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
1/29/2016 | 9:47:19 AM
Providing timely feedback
In my experience this is something lacking in many IT projects. I think it is an important factor for all the stakeholders.  I have faced issues when coordinating status review meetings especially with the CIO.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
1/29/2016 | 9:43:15 AM
Re: Simplify
I agree with you. Most of the CIO's prefer to have systems with more functionalities for the sake of having it. However at the end of the day it does not add any value.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
1/25/2016 | 8:44:36 AM
Security and risk management
While most of us don't like to have to deal with security and risk management, it is one of the most critical things a CIO can focus on right now. One slip in this area can damage the company and affect perceptions and customer goodwill for years to come.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
1/25/2016 | 8:43:01 AM
Analytics impact
Definitely agree that business intelligence and analytics will have a significant impact across the enterprise over the next few years. Data is already turning into one of the new currencies. But just having a lot of it isn't enough. In fact, without the right expertise and tools, more data is also more detrimental to the running and growing of the business.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
1/25/2016 | 8:40:53 AM
Simplify
Simplification is a laudable goal. Complex systems have more margin for error, more moving parts to break down and certainly take much longer for diagnosing and remediating problems. I suspect that every CIO with any degree of legacy apps wants to simplify their world. The hard part is figuring out what can go, what replaces and doing both while also delivering the business of technology the organization.
Research: 2014 US IT Salary Survey
Research: 2014 US IT Salary Survey
Our survey of nearly 12,000 respondents shows IT pays well -- staffers rack up a median total compensation of $92,000, and managers hit $120,000. Industry matters. And the gender pay gap is real and getting wider.
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