CIO Effectiveness: Here's A Hint -- Know Your Manager - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
Commentary
11/30/2007
06:23 PM
John Soat
John Soat
Commentary
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CIO Effectiveness: Here's A Hint -- Know Your Manager

Now for another sneak peek at a small slice of our forthcoming CIO Effectiveness Survey 2007: Almost everyone agrees the CIO should report to the CEO. Unfortunately, the reality is quite different.

Now for another sneak peek at a small slice of our forthcoming CIO Effectiveness Survey 2007: Almost everyone agrees the CIO should report to the CEO. Unfortunately, the reality is quite different.No discussion of CIO effectiveness would be complete without raising the thorny question of reporting structure: To whom should the CIO report? We did just that in our recently completed CIO Effectiveness Survey 2007, the results of which will be published on Dec. 10.

For our survey we talked with more than 700 business executives: CIOs and VPs of IT; IT managers and staff; CXOs (CEOs, CFOs, COOs), and line-of-business managers. The idea was to generate a well-rounded view of what makes for a highly effective CIO.

Reporting structure is one of the most controversial topics when it comes to the CIO position. However, survey respondents were unequivocal: To be effective, the CIO needs to report to the CEO, according to 79% of CIOs, 78% of IT managers and staff, 66% of LOB managers, and 62% of CXOs.

And the CFO isn't the alternate manager of choice: For more than a quarter of CXOs (28%), the CIO should have the chief operating officer as his or her direct manager to be most effective.

Unfortunately, the reality is that only a little more than half of CIOs (57%) actually report to the CEO today; a significant though lower-than-expected number (16%) report to the CFO. Perhaps the most encouraging sign is that 22% of CIOs say they report to their COO.

Oddly, but somehow appropriately, a not insignificant number of CIOs (5%) don't know whom they report to.

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