IT still has a long way to go before boards realise its true business value, according to IT business management provider Touchpaper.
Their survey of 100 CIOs showed that 82% think an inability to convince the board of IT's value means department budgets and reputations are suffering.
And 71% think this inability to show business value stops them from achieving real power in the boardroom.
The problem is that not enough departments measure their business value, with only 47% using key performance indicators to measure how IT supports strategic business objectives. Plus, 96% of respondents either have no systems in place to measure the performance of the IT department, or are still relying on non-automated measures such as spreadsheets or manual-entry databases.
Respondent Chris Robinson, IT director and partner at David Langdon LLP, which provides consulting services for the construction industry, said, "I know from my own experience that translating IT performance into a value message to the board is very difficult.
"I think it is primarily down to the background of a lot of people who work in the IT industry. IT is still very much seen as a technical profession, and the statistics show that it is struggling to attract people."
He said things are improving, but slowly. "The way forward I think is separating out the role of chief information officer and chief transformation officer (CTO)," he said. "This idea is really getting a foot hold in the industry at the moment. This would separate the role of the technical CIO and the CTO, who translates what the IT department is doing into business value. Plus more people should move over from business to IT at a junior management level."
Touchpaper CEO, Graham Ridgway, said, "Great CIOs are different from good CIOs in that they do not just run a low-failure IT department - they come across as businessmen. You need the intervening steps of performance of the business and the IT department, and this is what measurement provides."