Sunday, 20th October 2019
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CIOs feel more vulnerable than five years ago

Research shows European CIOs feel greater personal risk for the decisions they make – as the role of IT becomes more strategic.

Over three-quarters (76%) of senior IT leaders in the UK, France and Germany feel more personal risk when making decisions than they did five years ago because of IT’s increasingly central role in businesses, astudy commissioned by Colt reveals.
Meanwhile, 77% of CIOs say that pivotal moments in a business calendar (rather than day-to-day performance) define their career trajectories. This is compounding the sense of vulnerability felt during key decision-making moments, as highlighted in Colt’s recent‘Moments that Matter’ study.
Personal risk versus company risk
The study findings reveal a discrepancy in CIOs’ perceptions of personal/career and company risk. The areas where this is seen are:
• Creating the business case for change is more important for the company than the career of the CIO – 35% ‘company’ risk against 28% ‘personal’ risk
• Selecting the right team and skills is considered key to personal success – 39% ‘company’ risk against 48% ‘personal’ risk
• Communicating with internal and external stakeholders is undervalued – 27% ‘company’ risk against 19% ‘personal’ risk
The study also shows that the majority (73%) of CIOs believe the personal risk they experience is mitigated when working with a team they trust. Trust is also very important when dealing with external teams, as the majority of respondents (85%) believe technology issues are sometimes inevitable. A partner proves its value when things go wrong, they understand the impact of service interruption and act accordingly.
Carl Grivner, EVP at Colt said: “The advent of digitalisation and changing role of IT are clearly having an effect on the personal risk IT leaders experience. Playing such a pivotal role in the overall success of the company, IT leaders know that the boardroom has eyes on the key moments that will determine their success.”
“But this increased responsibility also means CIOs feel more vulnerable than five years ago. They are facing a new set of challenges – their ability to drive change and innovate will determine the success of the business and ultimately make or break their career. Building a team with the right skills and working with trusted suppliers that know the business inside out, will allow the CIO to take this weight off their shoulders and make the decisions that matter most to their careers.”
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