A new wave of CIOs are moving into tech departments all over the
country… and they haven’t worked their way up from the ranks of IT
That’s right. They’re the suits.
A new study, commissioned by the Harvey Nash Group plc, a global
recruitment firm, and sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, shows that
there’s a new breed of CIO in town.
”It’s funny because there’s been some talk about this happening for the
last three or four years,” says Phil Bloodworth, a partner in Advisory
Services at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. ”Now we’re finding that it’s being
put into practice. It’s actually happening. Companies put someone over
technology who isn’t necessarily a technologist. They’re more of a
strategist or a business person.
”That person is expected to bring a sense of business rigor and a
broader business focus than just a narrow technology focus,” he adds.
”It’s all about running IT like a business. It’s no longer about bits
and bytes and nuts and bolts. They have to align to the broader
Increasingly, Bloodworth adds, CIOs describe themselves as business
people first and technologists second.
But how is this going over with the other workers in the IT department?
Are tech professionals going to respond well to a ‘business suit’ coming
in and running the show? Deciding where their budget money will go? What
projects need to be at the head of the list?
Perhaps surprisingly enough, Bloodworth says, by and large, it isn’t an
”It’s going over pretty well,” he says. ”Let me tell you why. If you
get an IT organization that’s not viewed as just driving the bus, but
it’s viewed as someone who’s tactical and strategic, then technology is
elevated. IT is becoming elevated. There will be the crusties who don’t
like that. But the enlightened IT professional, who wants a broader
perspective, will like this move. It’s elevating their status in the
company and it’s allowing them to help the company achieve its strategic
The study also shows that IT budgets are looking up for 2006. The budgets
are growing as pent-up demand is released, with 25 percent of
survey respondents seeing an increase between 10 percent and 20 percent,
and 13 percent are seeing an increase over 20 percent.
Here are some other notes from the survey:
all respondents saying they have used outsourcing, and 38 percent of
respondents projecting growth in outsourcing budgets;
companies choosing to outsource, and
resources outside the U.S.