CIOs feel more vulnerable than five years ago

Over three-quarters (76 per cent) of senior IT leaders in the UK, France and Germany feel more personal risk when making decisions than they did five years ago because of IT’s increasingly central role in businesses, a study commissioned by Colt reveals.

At the same time, 77 per cent of chief information officers (CIOs) say that pivotal moments in a business calendar define their career trajectories, and not day-to-day performance. This is compounding the sense of vulnerability felt during key decision-making moments, as highlighted in Colt’s recent ‘Moments that Matter’ study.

The study, which covered 301 European senior technology decision makers, reveals a discrepancy in CIOs’ perceptions of personal/career and company risk. The areas where this is seen are:

Creating the business case for change is more important for the company than the career of the CIO – 35 per cent ‘company’ risk against 28 per cent ‘personal’ risk

Selecting the right team and skills is considered key to personal success – 39 per cent ‘company’ risk against 48 per cent ‘personal’ risk

Communicating with internal and external stakeholders is undervalued – 27 per cent ‘company’ risk against 19 per cent ‘personal’ risk

The study, surveyed businesses whose revenues spanned from 10M to 5BN euros, also shows that the majority (73 per cent) of CIOs believe the personal risk they experience is mitigated when working with a team they trust. Trust is also very important when dealing with external teams, as the majority of respondents (85 per cent) believe technology issues are sometimes inevitable. A partner proves its value when things go wrong, they understand the impact of service interruption and act accordingly.

The research was conducted by Loudhouse, an independent research agency based in London.