Bob Miano's Blog

An Executive journal

The Media Buzz on Harvey Nash’s Survey

Just over a week ago, we released the second ever Harvey Nash USA CIO Survey in partnership with KPMG. It’s an exciting time for those who are part of the U.S. arm of the global Harvey Nash organization. In Europe, the CIO Study is almost a decade old and has become a powerful benchmark of IT trends across the UK.

While our study of IT leaders in the U.S. is only two years old, I am excited to see that interest nationwide is high. For example, InformationWeek published a write up on the survey titled, “For CIOs, The Pay Is Good and the Hours Are Long.” As its title reveals, the article focuses on the long hours worked and general satisfaction of CIOs today. In the article “CIOs Like Their Jobs, Not Their Outsourcers" published on both eWeek and CIO Insight, author Deborah Perelman also focuses on the job and salary satisfaction of CIOs and underscores their dissatisfaction with outsourcers.

For me, the satisfaction of today’s IT leaders is also one of the most important findings of the survey. We all know how extremely hard the role of an IT leader is. These executives must constantly balance the demand for innovation and greater value with the need to keep budgets low and increase cost savings.

It reassures me that those who have climbed to these top IT leadership positions are happy to be there and ready to take on the many challenges ahead. Those are the kind of people we need in tough leadership roles today, and it looks like businesses are doing a good job of getting the right professionals and keeping them.

In fact, the survey underscores the fact that these leaders are more than IT leaders. Our CIO Survey found that 43% of technology leaders have responsibilities outside their IT departments in areas such as finance, marketing and operations. This expansion of responsibilities shows that more and more CIOs are now strategic business leaders who are able to support and manage a wide range of organizational initiatives.

As for outsourcing and the general dissatisfaction with performance, we at Harvey Nash see it as an expectations and communications issue. Because outsourcing solutions are managed locally or on-site, clients have very high expectations of transparency in the process. They expect to see and understand progress, processes and challenges. However, most outsourcers are failing to meet this demand.

Outsourcers must over-communicate, constantly report on progress, implement escalation trees, create project triggers and build strategic operational procedures for managing client expectations and needs. When clients better understand what is happening, they are better able to recognize progress. It’s amazing what excellent communication processes can do to change the fundamental success of an outsourcing and offshoring project.

As the 2006-2007 CIO Survey continues to be discussed in local and national forums, I look forward to sharing with you what the pundits, business writers and business leaders are saying and how we at Harvey Nash respond to their insights. If you are interested in commenting on the survey yourself, you can read in online here or attend one of our upcoming local market events where the survey findings will be discussed. A list of events occurring in the next month is listed here.