Only one in five chief information officers believe their influence on the board has increased significantly over the past 12 months.
A study conducted by Coleman Parkes Research for Salesforce.com showed that most CIOs and IT directors were spending far too much time on "keeping the lights on" activities, rather than focusing on the IT to drive business strategy.
While 96% of the 100 heads of IT surveyed said IT innovation was important, 33% said senior management did not promote innovation and a lack of time and money were the biggest obstacles they faced.
IT directors who participated in the survey said up to two-thirds of their time was spent on operational activities.
However, they predicted they would make greater use of the web over the next five years to deliver software which could free up more time.
Dominic Shine, CIO at Reed Exhibitions, said, "The CIO must be relevant to the business by looking at how to improve revenue, reduce costs and improve sales effectiveness."
Andy Jacques, vice-president, Northern Europe at Salesforce.com, said, "IT directors must drive transformational innovation. They can only take so much cost out of a business. This is why cloud computing is important to the CIO." Jacques said that cloud computing enables CIOs to reduce the time and expense of running in-house systems.