State of the CIO 2009

Chee Sing Chan and Emily Chia
26 Mar 2009

The CIO role by nature will always be dynamic and evolving. Technology itself develops at a searing pace leaving slowmovers clinging to the coattails of pioneers and groundbreakers.

As such CIOs must be constantly re-evaluating their priorities and objectives to ensure they are delivering the maximum value that technology can deliver to the business‾

So what does it take to be a successful CIO today‾ Is the role being diminished as som e argue or has it in fact been elevated to another status, one which finally lays to rest the perception of a back office cable-pulling software programmer.

According to a recent report by CIO Connect, a professional peer network for CIOs, 'CIO leadership is all about keeping ahead of executive and user demands.' The report further adds that for modern and relevant CIOs, 'it is all about driving new attitudes and behaviors in the organization. And it is all about delivering increased levels of business value.'

Kim Eng Securities CIO, Tony Tay, noted that the role of the CIO has clearly evolved from a more CTO in nature to one that is more business-oriented.

'CIOs have had to learn to align IT to business and be forced to upgrade themselves to step into the business realm,' said Kim.

To enable IT to effectively drive business, he recommends IT heads to engage in the industry and be ahead of user demands.

Cream of the crop

CIO Connect brings together CIOs and technology leaders in UK and Europe with a growing Asian membership to develop thought leadership and best practice sharing within its members.

Its annual CIO Horizons study of over 100 key CIOs highlights the attitudes and attributes of successful CIOs and includes for the first time CIOs from Asia Pacific.

The study identifies leading CIOs as vanguard CIOs - those who are seen as setting the benchmark for high performing CIOs and are taking an active leadership role within the organization.

Published in November 2008, the report notes that leadership at the top of an organization depends on relationships first and foremost, and the vanguard CIOs are spending more of their time with their colleagues in the business compared to the rest. This gives these CIOs a unique breadth of oversight of their organization and an unparalleled and invaluable perspective in the current downturn.

These vanguard CIOs spend on average 27% of their time in formal and informal discussions with fellow CxOs compared to other CIO counterparts - referred to as 'core' CIOs. (See chart 1)

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