Pure IT director's role in decline

The number of organisations with pure IT directors has fallen over the last five years from 27% to 21%, a survey of IT decision makers by the National Computing Centre has shown.

The number of organisations with pure IT directors has fallen over the last five years from 27% to 21%, a survey of IT decision makers by the National Computing Centre has shown.

Despite this, board level IT representation for IT is increasing with four out of five organisations now having IT represented on the board. Board level representation of the IT function has climbed from 61% five years ago, according to responses from 288 IT user organisations.

While half of the respondents indicated their organisation had a senior IT professional at board level, there had also been a 25% increase in the number of IT professionals who report to a board level director whose remit  includes IT, NCC’s Benchmark of IT Strategy 2006 found.

There is a growing range of directors assuming IT as part of their portfolio of responsibilitles, the NCC found. Many have a traditional structure where IT reports to the finance department, but some have established a board-level function for re-shaping business processes through IT.

Stefan Foster, managing director, NCC said, “There is now widespread acceptance of the need for a high level champion of IT – the role of this individual is to ensure that IT applications with significant business implications actually achieve the business benefits that are intended.

“Boards are increasingly prioritising individuals with proven business credentials and an ability to see change programmes through to conclusion.”

The Benchmark survey also revealed that organisations with a “director for IT and other areas” are more likely to report a slower pace of IT adoption compared to those led by pure IT directors. 

The research showed that lack of involvement and commitment of senior managers, was the most common major problem hindering the development of an IT strategy. This was cited by 45% of respondents and by 54% of respondents where IT is not represented on the board.

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