The number of IT leaders with influence over company business strategy has increased 26% since last year, according to research.
Recruitment firm Modis International surveyed 250 senior IT decision makers across the UK. The research showed 46% believe IT plays a major role in defining business strategy - an increase of 26% since 2010.
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However, Jim Albert, managing director at Modis International, said the IT profession is still battling against a dated stereotype.
Albert said: "IT's increasing business influence is now gaining recognition among colleagues but its reputation is growing from a low starting point. IT heads believe they are perceived as a more invaluable service this year, rising to 14% in 2011 from 6% in 2010. Nonetheless, 13% still feel treated as pure technical specialists, not strategic advisers."
Albert said the role of IT has shifted over the last few years, from being focused on cost reduction to business strategy. But IT professionals need to demonstrate IT as an enabler of change if the reputation of IT is to be raised in 2012.
"As a result, hiring managers are no longer looking for those with pure technical skills and capabilities; they need people who can help drive IT strategy forward. Vision, commercial awareness and leadership are attributes in demand," said Albert.
The survey also found organisations increased the number of IT personnel at board level by 17% compared to 2010.