More than 90% of CIOs look to their peer group or inside their organisations as their most important source for advice and information, the latest crop of technology executives recognised in the CIO 100 revealed, while IT consultants and vendors came out as the last place to look for answers and insight.

But when it came to suppliers, the big hitters like Microsoft, Oracle, HP, IBM, SAP and BT led the way in terms of popularity and were named as strategic suppliers by more than 20% of CIOs, with some the larger outsourcers, consultants and professional services firms like Deloitte, KPMG, CSC and Ricoh barely on the radar.

While 51% said their peers were the most important source of information and advice, and 41% responded that in-house was the most important, only 8% said either analysts, consultants or vendors were the first port of call.

One in 20 said that analysts were the most important, but only 2% consultants and 1% vendors.

More than 70% placed both peers and colleagues as either the most or second most important source of advice and information.

Rated the least important sources of information and advice; suppliers, analysts and consultants fared the worst.

Some 46% ranked vendors as the least important, while 26% placed analysts and 21% IT consultants at the bottom of the pile. Only the remaining 7% ranked their peer group or colleagues lowest. Consultants were ranked as either lowest or second lowest by 58% of the CIO 100.

Leading technology suppliers

The questionnaire also asked business technology leaders to name their strategic IT suppliers, and there was a clear leader with Microsoft named by 55% of IT executives in the CIO 100.

Oracle followed with 32%, followed by HP (25%, and a further 2% citing Autonomy), IBM (23%), SAP (22%) and BT (20%).

BT was named as a strategic supplier more than any other network or operator, followed by Vodafone (10%), Virgin (5%), O2 (4%) and Talk Talk (3%).

Some larger tech powerhouses like Google (9%), Dell, Fujitsu (both 7%), Amazon (6%), VMware (5%), EMC (5%) and Apple (3%) did not fare quite so well as some their big name counterparts, although Cisco (15%) and (14%) had significant take-up.

BT and Cisco were clear leaders in the networking space, with Citrix (6%) and Avaya (5%) the only other companies mentioned.

Of the outsourcers and IT services companies, Capgemini was mentioned by 7% of companies on the CIO 100, followed by Capita, CGI (both 5%), Civica (3%), Atos (2%) and CSC (1%).

And of the major professional services firms getting involved in the IT space, Accenture led the way - named in 4% of submissions as a strategic supplier - with KPMG and Deloitte name once each.