CIO Turnover At The FedsCIO Turnover At The Feds
A new survey says there's been considerable turnover among federal CIOs and that more of them are reporting to CFOs than did just a year ago -- a lot more. Sound familiar? It should, because the same thing appears to be happening with CIOs in the private sector. What goes around comes around, I guess. But what, exactly, is going around?
March 3, 2008
A new survey says there's been considerable turnover among federal CIOs and that more of them are reporting to CFOs than did just a year ago -- a lot more. Sound familiar? It should, because the same thing appears to be happening with CIOs in the private sector. What goes around comes around, I guess. But what, exactly, is going around?The Information Technology Association of America, an industry lobby group, published its annual CIO survey last week. In the summer and fall of 2007, ITAA interviewed "46 CIO/Information Resources Management (IRM) officials representing 30 executive, judicial, and legislative branch organizations." There are two interesting takeaways concerning the role of the CIO at the federal level.
First, almost three quarters (72%) of the respondents say they've been in their jobs for two years or less. That compares with fewer than half (42%) who said that in 2006. At the same time, only 9% say they've been in their jobs longer than four years, compared with 29% in 2006. A certain turnover in federal executive positions might be expected in an election year. But that turnover is consistent with an apparent increase in CIO turnover, at least anecdotally, in the private sector. The other interesting professional takeaway is that 23% of the surveyed CIOs say they report to their agency's or department's chief financial officer. That's up from about 5% in 2006. The ITAA accounts for that result this way: We included a greater proportion of agency-level (versus department-level) CIOs in our survey this year. We believe they are a significant factor in this increase. The increase in CIOs reporting to CFOs in the Federal government appears to be consistent in the trend that we have seen reported in the private sector. ITAA might be referring to the most recent survey of IT managers by the Society for Information Management, which reported last fall that 29% of respondents say the CIO or senior IT executive in their organization reports to the CFO, compared with 25% who said that in 2006. More important, perhaps, is that the number of respondents to the SIM survey last year who say the CIO reports to the CEO dropped 14%, to 31% from 45% in 2006. It's not a trend most CIOs are thrilled about. Ed Meagher, deputy CIO at the Interior Department, had this to say in a Federal Times story about the ITAA survey: "We're moving away from being treated as adult CIOs and adult senior managers -- moving back into 'he's the guy that fixed the box' ... and that's wrong," Meagher said. "It's part of the reason we spend $70 billion dollars [on IT] and don't get the results we're looking for." Sound familiar? Do you share the sentiment, or do you disagree? Let me know with comments below.
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