Deloitte poll finds CIOs struggling for time to strategise or innovate
1 December 2011
Strategising, thinking, planning, innovating. These were the overriding priorities listed by CIOs and IT leaders at Deloitte’s Annual CIO Dinner – but only if they had more time in the working week. When asked how they would spend an extra few hours, almost all listed strategy, future planning or innovation as a priority. However, this is in stark contrast with what they actually focus their time on, as big IT projects take up most of their time and place innovation and new technologies, such as analytics, down the day-to-day priority list.
Instead, the majority of these IT leaders spend the largest part (40%) of their average day on the planning and delivering of large scale IT projects. “This is a very interesting finding,” says Kevin Walsh, leader of Deloitte’s technology consulting practice. “Despite, or perhaps even because of, the current economic environment, businesses are spending again on priority IT programmes.”
A large majority of IT leaders indicate they spend at least a third of the day (on average) on IT leadership, talent and skills development. “Although the last couple of years may have eased concerns about the IT talent crisis, many leaders believe the situation now remains very challenging for key areas,” says Walsh. “The issue goes right to the top. Too few organisations have a succession plan in place for the CIO, as well as for his or her key direct reports. Maybe this is not surprising given that few organisations develop their next CIO. Although businesses may need fewer technical IT staff in-house, as a direct result of outsourcing, the need for senior IT managers and business managers who understand each others’ competencies is greater than it has ever been.”
Deloitte gathered input from almost 60 CIOs and IT leaders from some of the UK’s largest organisations, who attended a recent event where the current IT challenges and opportunities were discussed. Reflecting these concerns and CIO priorities, Deloitte has launched a paper entitled; IT Matters Again. This paper reviews the unique relevance of IT to today’s business challenges and outlines considerations and key focus areas for the CIO, including: IT leadership and talent; business driven delivery of large scale IT projects; new models for sourcing and contracting; and innovation/analytics.
“IT leaders have a chance to take advantage of the relevance of IT to the business climate and focus on building competitive advantage during this part of the economic cycle. Investments made today in differentiating IT will stand the business in good stead for a recovery and a return to growth. Over the long term, the business that turns innovative IT to its advantage is likely to be better run, and more competitive than those who do not; it is also likely to be closer to its customers. We will continue to work closely with our clients to help realise their IT objectives and ensure they have adequate time to invest in strategy and innovation.”
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