Australian CIOs middle of the pack on creativity

By Freya Purnell
To meet the challenges of the current enterprise technology environment, CIOs must demonstrate creativity in their roles, orchestrating technology and skills to deliver business outcomes.

According to a new global study published by BT, ‘The Art of Connecting: Creativity and the modern CIO’, nearly two-thirds say their board wants creativity from the CIO.

Almost 1000 senior IT decision-makers in eight regions worldwide were surveyed.

But when it comes to actually delivering creativity, Australian CIOs are lagging behind those in other countries. Seventy-two per cent of Australian IT decision-makers said that their CIO is creative, compared with a massive 95 per cent in Brazil, 88 per cent in Singapore, 84 per cent in the US and 82 per cent in Germany. Australian CIOs were regarded as more creative than those in the UK, Spain and Benelux.

The study also found that far from being the death knell for CIOs, ‘shadow IT’ – the practice of departments such as finance or marketing buying their own IT solutions – may actually provide an opportunity for CIOs to take a leading role in the organisation.

According to BT, with shadow IT now accounting for one quarter of IT spending on average, the CIO’s role is naturally shifting away from hands-on support to a more strategic role focused on advice, governance and security.

Luis Alvarez, chief executive officer, BT Global Services, said: “CIOs are perfectly placed to nurture creative uses of technology throughout their organisations while keeping a strategic view. Indeed, our research shows that the board expects nothing less.”

Almost 60 per cent of respondents say that the CIO now has a much more central role in the boardroom compared with two years ago, and 81 per cent said they are now judged on more business than technology KPIs.  

Mobility, unified communications and cloud were named by CIOs as the top three technologies that they feel can help most in unlocking their creativity, as well as the most critical in delivering commercial results.


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