Bridging the Gap: How U.K. CIOs can Become Strategic Business Partners

Career Climbers / 25th July 2016

U.K. CIOs are gradually changing how they work within organisations, according to new research from Robert Half Technology. As part of this shift they need to demonstrate additional attributes beyond technology expertise and according to CIOs, the most important of these is leadership, followed by analytical skills, strategic vision and communication skills. 

Almost two thirds (62%) of CIOs believe they already have strong analytical skills, while 53% claim to have leadership skills and 51% have communication skills, but only 40% believe they have a strategic vision for how technology can be used within their organisation, suggesting that this is an area for improvement in the future as CIOs move further into strategic partnership roles.

The three biggest challenges facing IT directors when acting as a strategic IT partner are lack of technology investments and resources (cited by 30% of respondents), talent and skills shortages (23%) and lack of time (13%).

Neil Owen, Director, Robert Half Technology, commented: “The digital transformation agenda is creating a need for CIOs who can move away from day-to-day operational tasks to add value as strategic partners to the business. Given the importance of the CIO in all organisations’ ongoing programmes of change, it’s vital that IT directors have the right mix of resources in place to handle operational work while helping the business exploit new technology to build better business processes.

“However, it seems that CIOs feel they are being held back from this change in role by the pressure on technology and people resources at their disposal and potentially by their ability to build a strategic vision for IT. Where transformation or key projects are scheduled, bringing in contract IT professionals to support the team through this period of change will allow the freeing up of time for strategic planning for CIOs.”

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