CIO 100 reporting lines and board level influence increase

The 2013 CIO 100 revealed the strong board level influence of CIOs in the UK after it was unveiled at an exclusive London event sponsored by Intel on May 23, but there are challenges ahead.

Yesterday University College London Hospitals (UCLH) IT director James Thomas received the top accolade in the 2013 edition of the CIO 100, while London 2012 Olympics CIO Gerry Pennell received special recognition for his role with LOCOG, which the judging panel felt had left him ineligible in previous years since he could only ever be judged after the completion of the Games.

But as well as documenting some of the major business technology programmes being led by UK CIOs, the CIO100 revealed that 55% of IT executives report directly to the CEO, with 23% to the CFO, 16% to the COO and 6% reported to a different position.

Board level positions are held by 78% (defined as a leadership board driving key business decisions), with 15% saying they did not have this influence and the remaining 7% not responding.

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CIO 100 judge and CIO magazine columnist Mike Altendorf said: "Having a direct line between CIO and CEO is an important statement of intent. It shows an understanding of the value of technology to the business. Without that understanding, history shows that you will be one of the disrupted rather than disrupters.

"Just as important however is the CIO's job description. As the rest of the board become more IT literate and demand more control of their own IT budgets, the CIO is in danger of becoming a glorified facilities manager while the more interesting, strategic and transformation parts of his job are cannibalised by new roles like Chief Digital Officer and Head of Innovation."

Fellow CIO writer and judge Ade McCormack said: "While these numbers are far from ideal they are an improvement in respect of CIO relevance. Given how quickly we are careering into the digital economy this needs to be accelerated.

"But I think the market generally has it in mind to keep the CIO in the data centre and create the role of Chief Digital Officer to handle the transformation piece."