Two thirds of IT heads lack clear or realistic business objectives

Nearly two thirds of UK CIOs believe they do not have clear or realistic business objectives, according to a survey by research company Vanson Bourne.

Nearly two thirds of UK CIOs believe they do not have clear or realistic business objectives, according to a survey by research company Vanson Bourne.

The survey of 125 UK CIOs and senior IT decision-makers, commissioned by international IT services company Atos Origin, showed that while some CIOs have made progress by increasing their influence within the business, many still struggle to balance the role of managing the IT infrastructure with the demands of business strategy.

Three quarters (76%) of those surveyed did not consider themselves a strategic influencer within the business. More than half (56%) described themselves as a "manager of IT and of outsourced IT suppliers", which was over twice as many as those that considered themselves a "strategic influencer within the business" (26%).

Unrealistic and unclear business objectives were named as the top barrier to success by 61% of respondents, while legacy systems and lack of budget were also high on the list.

To do their job more effectively, 59% of CIOs said they would need "increased interest and involvement of the business in IT strategy and planning"; 54% required more IT budget; and 41% a "better understanding of business drivers."

The survey results also showed that UK CIOs were swamped with demands from the business and from external suppliers to manage budgets, encourage innovation and support the business, according to John Stevenson, chief operating officer, Atos Origin.

"Many CIOs find their time is preoccupied with managing multiple IT suppliers and relationships, without the appropriate internal infrastructure and governance, leaving them little time to focus on developing their role within the business. This often impacts the ability of the IT department to provide innovative solutions that enable the company to be more agile and, ultimately, increase their business advantage," said Stevenson.

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