Local research shows Australian CIOs thrive under pressure

Local research shows Australian CIOs thrive under pressure

What makes a successful CIO?

Research that scorecards the skills of Australian CIOs has labelled them 'operational experts' that thrive in enterprises where the pressure to deliver IT systems on time, under budget and with full user acceptance is high.

Based on the responses of 247 Australian CIOs, the annual "State of the CIO" survey found the local community of IT professionals is tracking well, even when compared to their Nth American counterparts.

The research examines every aspect of a CIO's role in the enterprise using archetypes to identify the main categories of IT professional.

It categorizes 'operational experts' as CIOs who have fine-tuned their execution skills and abiliity to manage projects on time and under budget.

The remaining archetypes, include the educator, turnaround artist, innovation agent and business leader, which is detailed in the May 2007 edition of CIO Magazine.

The educator category covers CIOs working in the field of higher education while the turnaround artist is typically an agent of change with the ability to start piling up wins very quickly.

This compares to the innovation agent who puts the greatest emphasis on strategic thinking and believes in IT's ability to drive new business initiatives.

Now in its fifth year, the State of the CIO Survey, actually received a total of 260 responses but that was weeded down to 247 to ensure it was "the definitive" body of research into the local CIO community.

In fact, the survey which is compiled and published by CIO Magazine, is by 'invitation only' to ensure it is both comprehensive and Australian-based, rather than being a regional add-on to a global survey.

It covers a broad range of industries with 14 percent of respondents from companies with annual revenue of $24.9 million or less, 22 percent from companies with revenue between $25 million and $99.9 million while 61 percent had revenue of $100 million or more.

CIO Magazine has extracted the data in a myriad of different ways to drill down on every aspect of the CIO career even comparing local CIOs against their international counterparts.

So how do Australian CIOs rate? According to CIO Magazine editor, Linda Kennedy, there are more Australian CIOs reporting to the CEO than there are in Nth America.

"Each year more and more CIOs are reporting to CEOs which is a positive trend. Their tenure is longer, head count is on the increase, there is plenty of innovation and facetime with other CXOs continues to grow," Kennedy said.

"Overall, Australian CIOs are doing extremely well. There seems to be a tight link between business heads and IT which is always the best indicator of alignment.

"But alignment is constantly moving to address market realities. It is impossible to put a stick in the ground and say on March 5, IT was aligned with business.

"There are always new products and services so alignment is always shifting."

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