30 Sep CIOs and the inner circle
IBM’s recently published study into how members of the C-suite are working together to prepare for the digital era contains some key takeaways for CIOs who want to play a bigger role in shaping and leading the digital transformation of their organization.
The report, Exploring the Inner Circle, is based on face-to-face interviews with 4,183 CxOs from around the world and explores what makes an effective C-suite, how C-suite members interact with each other and how this impacts on financial performance.
So what does the IBM research mean for CIOs and perhaps more importantly what can CIOs learn from these results that may help them firmly establish themselves as a member of the CEO’s inner circle?
The CIO is the third most strategic member of the C-suite. When asked which roles are involved in developing their organisation’s strategy, CEOs put the CIO third on their list behind the CFO (72%) and the CMO (63%) with 42% listing the CIO as being a contributor to business strategy. Now, whether you see this as a good or a bad thing probably depends on whether you glass is half full or half empty.
The positive slant is that CIOs are in the top three. The negative view is that they are quite a distant third and less than half of CEOs include their CIO in the development of strategy.
The CIO is the most specialised member of the C-suite. IBM asked the respondents whether they had experience across a range of business disciplines such as strategy, finance, marketing and IT. A small number of CIOs indicated they had experience in strategy in addition to IT but otherwise the CIO respondents had no other non-IT experience.
It is worth pointing out that a number of other C-suite roles appear to have limited experience outside of their own discipline although at least some of the respondents from other functions indicated they had experience in at least two other areas.
And another point of note, bearing in mind the first takeaway is that, other than the CEO, the CFO and CMO were the two roles with the most diverse range of experience outside of their own specialisms. So there is at least a correlation between involvement in strategy development and breadth of business experience, if not causation.