CIOs may fall short of business targets in recession, Gartner says

CIOs will have difficulty meeting business expectations because fears...

CIOs will have difficulty meeting business expectations because fears of a recession are leading to reduced budgets, according to to market analyst Gartner's updated global survey of CIOs presented at the IT Directors' Forum this week.

As a result CIOs will struggle to hire the right people to build systems to grow the business, said the update, which was prompted by the changing environment that the credit crunch has created.

Judi Edwards, vice-president of the executive partners centre of the Gartner Executive Programme, said attracting and keeping new customers and improving business processes were the top two concerns for UK CIOs. However, budgets were shrinking by 2.5%, and as a result innovation and building business skills in the organisation had dropped down the priority list. These were signs that firms had less appetites for risk, she said.

"Completing projects that deliver business growth has been the top priority for five years," she said, "but now they have to do it with cut budgets".

These strategic projects were pushing CIOs into other part of the business, and more than half of CIOs also had non-IT responsibilitiesThis is changing the role of the CIO, she said.

Ian Cramb, COO of Citibank's retail consumer business in EMEA, corroborated this. The former CIO said CIO no longer meant "career is over", but he said that CIOs needed to express their technical expertise in terms of business benefits.

"The next stage for CIO could be the chief innovation officer, or the chief integration officer," he said.

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