Survey: CIOs are driving digital change and innovation

CEOs are giving CIOs some more credit where credit is due, according to a new survey from Gartner, Inc., which found that CIOs are thought of as the title most responsible for driving digital innovation and change at companies.

A Wall Street Journal article contends that this is the latest sign that CIOs are "evolving away from a reputation for just managing back-office technologies."

CIOs come out on top in CEOs' eyes, but it's becoming more of a "team game," as new roles like chief marketing officers and chief digital officers are created.

For the survey, CEOs were asked to distribute 100 points measuring leadership contribution among several C-level roles. CIOs led with an average weighted score of 14.8, but other positions weren't far behind.

The role of chief digital officer has the potential to trip CIOs up. "Digital is a progressive agenda, and many CIOs are not set up for agenda setting," Gartner analyst Mark Raskino told WSJ. "There is a lot of challenge there."

Healthcare CIOs' workloads have ballooned in scope and complexity over the past five years, according to a whitepaper from executive search firm SSI-Search, entitled "Why the CIO is Healthcare's Million Dollar Man."

That's not necessarily referring to the CIO's salary--and 82 percent were male in this survey of nearly 200 healthcare CIOs. The average annual CIO compensation was $286,000, and raises for most have been 10 percent or less over the past four years. Most say their workload has increased by 50 percent.

An excellent "digital IQ" among healthcare senior executives, can only be a plus for tech leaders seeking "active champions" in the use of information technology to achieve their strategy.

John Halamka, CIO at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has said CIOs' priority for 2014 must be "institutional survival."

To learn more:
- here's an announcement on the survey
- read the Wall Street Journal article

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