How Often Do You Meet With The CEO? - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
Commentary
7/23/2008
05:15 PM
John Soat
John Soat
Commentary
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How Often Do You Meet With The CEO?

Less often than last year, report many CIOs. Is that a good thing or a bad thing in terms of how seriously IT is taken as a business partner?

Less often than last year, report many CIOs. Is that a good thing or a bad thing in terms of how seriously IT is taken as a business partner?According to our recent "Tomorrow's CIO" Analytics Report and survey, fewer CIOs are dropping by the CEO's office on a daily basis than last year. Most still meet with the big guy (or woman) on a weekly basis, but more have to settle for monthly or quarterly meetings, or those ad hoc occasions when you run into him or her at the coffee station or the company bar-b-que.

How often do you meet with the CEO/corporate executive?

Never: 2% (2008); 1% (2007)

Daily: 12% (2008); 20% (2007)

Weekly: 42% (2008); 42% (2007)

Monthly: 28% (2008); 26% (2007)

Quarterly: 7% (2008); 6% (2007)

Ad hoc: 10% (2008); 7% (2007)

[Data: InformationWeek Analytics Report, Tomorrow's CIO; 537 CIOs/VPs of IT]

Ironically, CIOs' meeting schedules with CFOs hasn't changed much. The same number are meeting with their top finance execs on a daily basis as last year (11%), and just about the same number on a weekly basis this year (40%) as last year (43%).

I bring this up because of the continuing discussion over whom the CIO reports to. My colleague Marianne Kolbasuk McGee blogged about a recent Forrester Research report that suggested whom the CIO reports to depends on the vertical industry that CIO is in. Usually, the CIO reporting to the CEO is a good sign, one that IT is taken seriously as a business contributor and partner. The Forrester survey found that IT gets more money if the CIO reports to the CEO.

Across all companies and all industries, CIOs who report to the CEO have the largest IT budgets -- an average of 6.6% of revenue -- while CIOs who report to the CFO have the smallest IT budgets, or an average of 4.2% of revenue.

Daily versus weekly meetings don't indicate anything about reporting structure. But it can indicate how seriously IT is taken, in terms of how often the CEO seeks counsel from the top tech exec.

One point that was made in the Forrester survey is that CIOs are starting to report more to line-of-business executives. I don't know what that says about how seriously CIOs -- and by extension, IT -- are being taken, but according to our survey results, CIOs are meeting with LOB management less often than last year -- a lot less often.

How often do you meet with line-of-business (LOB) management?

Never: 4% (2008); 2% (2007)

Daily: 11% (2008); 16% (2007)

Weekly: 36% (2008); 44% (2007)

Monthly: 28% (2008); 19% (2007)

Quarterly: 6% (2008); 7% (2007)

Annually: 1% (2008); 2% (2007)

Ad hoc: 13% (2008); 11% (2007)

[Data: InformationWeek Analytics Report, Tomorrow's CIO; 537 CIOs/VPs of IT]

Once again, the fact that there are more monthly meetings doesn't necessarily say anything about reporting structure. But it does say something about how often those executives exchange notes face to face. And while more CIOs may be reporting to business managers, they certainly sit in their offices less often.

To whom do you report? Or to whom does your CIO report? Does it make a difference in your organization? And if the CIO reports to a line-of-business executive, is that better or worse than the CIO reporting to the CFO?

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