The Power Of Talent

The very latest event and news updates

From across our global network

U.S. CIOs Adjusting for Growth Says Harvey Nash/TelecityGroup 2012 CIO Survey

Annual survey reveals CIOs taking on more strategic role and shifting priorities to meet new business goals; key challenges are technology skills shortage and role of women in IT.

Wayne, NJ, May 14, 2012 - Growth is resurfacing in the technology corridors of U.S. businesses according to the 2012 CIO Survey conducted by Harvey Nash USA in association with leading data center operator, TelecityGroup

The 7th annual survey of CIOs and Information Technology (IT) leaders in the U.S., revealed positive findings about growth in U.S. business and its impact on the CIO, including a new focus on improving time-to-market of new products and services, enabling mobile commerce, and increasing budgets. Acquiring and retaining IT talent concerns and the gender disparity of women in IT were also revealed in the Survey.

"This year's Survey shows that U.S. CIOs are shaking off the bunker mentality that held them captive the past few years since the Great Recession, and they are beginning to focus on strategic growth activities again," said Harvey Nash USA President and CEO Robert J. Miano. "Their shifting priorities align completely with the anecdotal evidence that we are gathering every day from our customers. Case in point, every single offshoring project that we have discussed in the last 12 months has been for digital media or had a digital media component. The impact of digital media has been seismic."

Key Indicators of Growth:

  • Increasing Budgets: More than half of U.S. CIOs (51 percent) in companies of all sizes report increases in their budgets this year (up 12 percent over 2011); and equally important almost half (46 percent) are anticipating another budget bump in the next 12 months. In 2011 budget increases in smaller companies foretold the broader increase in 2012.
  • Demand for Increased Time-to-Market: Of the areas of focus for CIOs, the category that grew the most in 2012 was improving time-to-market for new products and services, underlining the importance of growth and expansion planning.
  • Expanding Digital Media: As new tools and technology enter the marketplace, a significant majority of U.S. CIOs (80 percent) report that they are promoting the use of digital media within the company, including 55 percent who say they are developing applications for tablet devices. 
  • Global Reach: Almost two thirds of U.S. CIOs (59 percent) have a global or international role, which reflects the wider economic trends of globalization. This is up from 37 percent in 2011.

"As Boards look ahead seeking new ways to grow and innovate in an increasingly complex data-rich world, the role of the CIO takes on greater importance and increasing responsibility. We are seeing the DNA of IT leaders changing as they have become more representative of their internal and external customers. It is a very exciting time to be a CIO," said TelecityGroup CEO Michael Tobin.

Key Areas of Concern: 

Skills Shortage and Women in IT

Skills Shortage

  • 56 percent of U.S. CIOs indicated their organizations are suffering from a technology skills shortage.
  • 56 percent also say this shortage would limit their organizations' ability to keep up with the pace of change, up from 49 percent in 2011. 
  • 90 percent of U.S. CIOs expressed some level of concern about retaining talent. 
  • Enterprise architecture is the most needed skill for U.S. organizations rising five percent since last year.
  • The skill set that increased the most in demand is mobile solutions, up nine percent. Now more than a quarter of all U.S. CIOs are seeking additional talent in the mobile space.

Women in IT

  • Of the CIO's responding to the survey this year in the U.S., only nine percent are female compared to only seven percent globally. This represents a decline three years running in the U.S. from 12 percent in 2010 to 11 percent in 2011 and nine percent this year. 
  • Almost a third of U.S. CIOs report that they have no women in management within their IT organizations. 
  • Piling on, only 52 percent believe women are under-represented in their IT department.
  • CIOs in the same survey say that the most important value women add to the IT function is their ability to form good relationships with the business, and almost half say that women bring innovation and creativity to technology.

According to Patricia Anderson, chief technology officer at, 

"At Classified Ventures, including,, as well as Corporate Technology, we recognize the rich value that diversity in general brings to the business, and we remain committed to encouraging a diverse workplace. Specifically related to women in technology positions, all technology groups at Classified Ventures increased the number of females on their teams over the past year, and overall we continue to have a number of women in management positions. In addition we are developing a woman's leadership mentoring program with the goal of increasing the number of woman in leadership roles across our entire Classified Ventures organization."

Other Survey Highlights:


  • With the talent crunch it is no surprise that outsourcing is up and is expected to continue rising during the coming year. In 2011, 10 percent of U.S. CIOs spent up to half their budget on outsourcing; in 2012 that number jumped to 15 percent of CIOs. 
  • Marking an upward trend in recent years, 43 percent of U.S. CIOs plan to increase their outsourcing investment next year, up from 41 percent last year and 38 percent in 2010.
  • 45 percent plan to increase their offshore work in 2012.
"We believe that the value of the U.S. dollar is playing a pivotal role in the decisions that are leading U.S. companies to shift offshore work away from India towards China and back to the U.S.," explained Miano from Harvey Nash USA.

The Changing CIO Role

  • More CIOs report directly to the Chief Executive than in 2010 (31 percent, up from 21 percent in 2010). 
  • 67 percent say the role of the CIO has become more strategic in recent years.
"CIOs now have a seat at the executive table, and we are seeing that trend continue across the board both in the U.S. and around the world. Companies are realizing the power of bringing the CIO into the conversation at the highest level, and the need for strategic, technically savvy counsel from the CIO," concluded Miano.

About the Survey

More than 2,400 CIOs and IT leaders around the world participated in the 14th Annual Global CIO Survey that reports on the state of the CIO and international technology trends. 450 U.S. IT leaders responded and their comments comprise the U.S. section of the annual Survey. Of U.S. respondents, 42 percent were CIOs or C-level executives, 39 percent were senior vice presidents or directors of IT.

About the research:

  1. The 2012 CIO Survey was conducted online by Harvey Nash from Dec. 5, 2011 to Feb. 29, 2012. 2,400 senior IT professionals from around the world completed the survey.
  2. The 2012 CIO Survey is global in nature and was available in many countries, different languages and currencies. For ease of production the survey is written in American English and the currency used is the U.S. Dollar.
  3. To request the full report, please visit the Harvey Nash USA website.

About Harvey Nash USA
Harvey Nash USA is the U.S. division of The Harvey Nash Group, a global professional recruitment firm and IT outsourcing service provider traded on the London Stock Exchange since 1997. Harvey Nash has helped over half the world's leading companies recruit, source and manage the highly skilled talent they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive, global and technology driven world. With 4,000 experts in more than 40 offices across Europe, Asia and the U.S., Harvey Nash has the reach and resources of a global organization, and it fosters a culture of innovation and agility that empowers all employees across the world to respond to constantly changing client needs. Harvey Nash works with clients, both big and small, to deliver a portfolio of services: executive search, IT professional services and IT staffing: To learn more, please visit