Bob Miano's Blog

An Executive journal

CIO Survey Review: My Top Three Insights

• Two thirds of CIOs reporting skills shortage - up 10% from 2015 - to highest level since 2008.
• 35% CIOs are delivering an enterprise-wide digital strategy, up from 27% in 2015.
• 9% of senior IT leadership roles are now held by women, up by a third since last year

Things have changed a lot in the last 18 years. Think about your own life during that time. Back in 1998 your career was likely just getting started and you spent a lot more time at your desk because you couldn't check email on your flip-phone! You may be a manager now, leading a team or possibly owning your own business, with the ability to communicate anytime, anywhere and on any platform via your smartphone.

During the same timeframe, we at Harvey Nash have been tracking the evolution of the CIO career path. It has been a fascinating journey over almost two decades, and if the results of the 2016 Harvey Nash /KPMG Survey indicate anything, it is that more change is likely in the future.

There is so much to share from the CIO Survey this year that I can't fit it into a single blog post. I've included three initial highlights below, but for more insight, please consider visiting our survey website where you'll find a video, podcasts and a link to download the full report.   

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Skills shortage - two thirds of CIOs reporting skills shortage - up 10% from 2015
Talent acquisition and retention remain a major challenge for IT leaders. The report indicates that "the proportion of CIOs and IT leaders reporting skills shortages has risen to the highest level since the Great Recession. This year, 65 percent tell us that a lack of talent will prevent them keeping up with the pace of change - 10 percent more than last year."

Our front line staffing consultants at Harvey Nash are also seeing a bigger impact from automation and a greater demand for technologists to be skilled in analytics, digital and interactive media. The war for talent is as intense as I have ever seen it.

Digital - 35% CIOs are delivering an enterprise-wide digital strategy
The role of digital is changing rapidly and it is shifting the way we think about IT. As we indicate in the CIO survey report, "the relentless march of smart-phones and tablets means that 'always on' technology has become ubiquitous all over the world." The impact of digital now stretches throughout most organizations, with CIOs collaborating with their marketing peers to deliver digital platforms. A new C-level role continues to emerge in response to the digital revolution, almost one in five organizations (19%) now employ a Chief Digital Officer, up from only 7% two years ago.

I've seen the transformative impact of digital, both at large multi-national organizations that are experimenting with new technologies, and at small startups whose sole mission is to disrupt established industries. As digital technology innovation advances rapidly, it is natural that the rise of the Chief Digital Officer continues. Anna Frazzetto, Chief Digital Technology Officer and SVP of Harvey Nash, addressed this topic during a recent keynote to an audience of 150 or so digital leaders at the CDO Summit in New York City.  If this topic is of interest, I urge you to read a summary of her key findings from the event.

Additionally, I would expect the role of the CIO to continue to evolve into a more creative, commercial and strategically important external role, as the use of digital technology - and the systems they run on - become more important to organizational success and profitability.

Women in IT - one in 10 senior IT leadership roles held by women
I need to look no further than Harvey Nash for an indication that the role of Women in IT is changing. The gender diversity of our interns and graduate hires, our managers and senior executive leaders, and the Chair of our Board of Directors - Julie Baddeley - reflect our commitment to the advancement of women in IT. CIOs tell us similar changes are occurring within their businesses too, but industry leaders are also clear that promotions and leadership development for women in IT must be based on merit. As the report indicates, if ability remains the basis for advancement "women will increasingly view IT as an attractive career option" and organizations will greatly benefit from developing their exceptional female professionals.

We are already half way through 2016 and CIOs tell us that the pace of change continues to accelerate. For the remainder of the year we can expect CIOs to be increasingly 'creating' rather than 'operating', and exploring new ways of working and nurturing relationships both internally with C-level peers, and externally with suppliers and customers. It remains an exciting time to be a CIO and working in IT.

Again, to download the full report, please visit the Harvey Nash/KPMG 2016 CIO Survey website.