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CIOs asked to lead through recession

CIOs are being asked by theboardroom to change the way the business operates to help it through the economic downturn.

In a survey of 100 CIOs, carried out by IT manager forum CIO Connect, 62 said board members were turning to them for leadership in the current economic climate.

The combination of technology expertise and an understanding of business processes and strategy are key attributes in helping CIOs make it into the top tier of management.

The number of CIOs at the top of the businesshas increased in recent years. One in five CIOs are now at board-level, said the survey.

CIOs now spend more time working on non-IT duties. These include formal and informal discussions with the top executives. These discussions are about business strategy, transformational change proposals, issues of business profitability, as well as project briefings and programme status updates.

Nick Kirkland, CEO at CIO Connect, said CIOs are increasingly taking a leadership role in driving business change. He said they are well positioned to interpret how their organisation best addresses the complexities of an economic downturn. "The role is pivotal, and no more so than today with so much business turbulence," added Kirkland.

Over the next year 70% of CIOs will focus on increased value and 45% will also put cost containment at the top of their agenda. A total of 40% of all CIOs expect their budget to remain unchanged in 2009. Another 30% expect an increase, while 30% plan a cut.


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