The CIO-CEO Relationship

Most IT execs give positive assessments in a recent study.
Most IT execs are upbeat about their relationship with the CEO, according to a recent survey of 200 CIOs by IT executive-search firm John J. Davis & Associates. The results stay fairly consistent with a similar survey conducted by the company in 1999. When asked whether their CEOs are able to make informed assessments of their performance, 74% of CIOs said yes, up slightly from 71% in the previous survey. But those CEOs may also be more demanding. Forty-one percent of respondents say their CEOs' expectations are usually unrealistic or sometimes unrealistic, compared with 33% in 1999.

But do CIOs believe adequate resources are devoted to IT? Sixty-eight percent say CEOs are willing to spend the time and money needed. Those results closely mirror the 1999 survey, in which 67% of CIOs had the same response. The current survey does have one surprising data point--one-third of respondents say their CEOs view IT simply as a support function. That indicates that some CEOs still don't understand IT's potential, says John Davis, president of John J. Davis & Associates: "It's up to the CIO to educate them."