CIOs are at the forefront of leading organisations out of the current downturn. Exclusive research carried out by CIO UK and global recruitment and professional services supplier Harvey Nash reveals how CIOs being called on to drive change, efficiency and leadership.

You can learn more about the strategic position CIOs are taking in being at the forefront of decision making as companies look for ways out of the current economic downturn by downloading the CIO UK Harvey Nash podcast or registering for the white paper jointly produced by both organisations.

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Over 1,300 CIOs and IT leaders across Europe were surveyed by Harvey Nash and CIO UK as part of the Harvey Nash IT Leadership survey. The strategic importance of the CIO and the understanding by management boards of IT was startling.

Seventy-four per cent of the CIOs surveyed said that the current down turn was a good opportunity to raise the profile of IT.

The CIOs surveyed were implementing new strategies to improve the organisation during the downturn. Projects being launched by CIOs include change projects that reduce costs and improve efficiency, internal collaboration, improved customer interaction using IT, business intelligence and improved systems for working with suppliers.

CIO UK and Harvey Nash also found that the majority of CIOs across Europe were in IT leadership positions during the 1999 to 2000 downturn when the dot com bubble burst. Seventy-two per cent of CIOs were in leadership positions a decade ago.

Dave Williams, IT Director at, the financial services online market place, told CIO UK, "In the last downturn I learned how to negotiate contract and to understand the market better as well as developing good people skills." John Whiting, head of the CIO Practice at Harvey Nash said it is these business focussed skills that CIOs learnt from the last downturn that are making them critical members of the management team in this down turn.

To read the full CIO UK Harvey Nash report Leadership out of the downturn, please register on CIO UK here.