Four out of five chief information officers find it difficult to source suppliers with the right attitude to understand their business needs, according to this year's CIO Census.
The research, from user group CIO Connect, found nearly two-thirds of the CIOs surveyed had difficulty finding suppliers with the right competencies.
Disappointment with suppliers stems from both the changing role of the chief information officer and senior IT management and also the tendency of suppliers to offer generic, technology-led products, said Michael Gough, executive chairman of CIO Connect.
"Suppliers are offering solutions which in many cases they dreamed up without being fully engaged with the client. They are selling what they can do," he said.
"FTSE 250 CIOs are focused on business outcomes. Their biggest issues are efficiency and effectiveness in business processes. They measure their success in things like throughput and unit costs."
The research, which will be published in full on Thursday, also found that four out of five CIOs have had bad experiences with suppliers. However, Gough said, "Suppliers are getting better at articulating their offerings, but there are still differences between what clients want and what vendors can deliver."
In an effort to bridge this gap, 84% of businesses are involving more senior management in their strategic relationships with suppliers, according to the study.