IBM has brought out the latest in its series of surveys into C-level attitudes with global research on CIOs that separates them into four separate IT strategy approaches. It found the majority of CIOs are principally concerned with expanding the scope of IT within the organisation.

The four segments – Leverage, Expand, Transform and Pioneer – reflect how closely aligned CIOs feel they are with CEOs and other business line heads.

According to the research, half of the 3,000 CIOs interviewed from around the world and 47 per cent of the 113 CIOs interviewed from UK and Ireland put themselves into the Expand quadrant.

This typically means CIOs with a mandate for expansion are concerned with streamlining business process, exploring outsourcing opportunities, improving internal communications and upgrading legacy systems. 

Luke Robertson, Executive Partner, IBM Global Business Services cautioned that these CIOs are still expected to provide fundamental technology services.

“The fundamental is still there. CIOs have to run the operation, they have to keep the lights on. They have to build that credibility and trust within their organisations,” he said.

The good news for many IT leaders is that there appears to be a trend for CIOs to be much more involved in the strategies that shape their organisations direction. The survey found that two of the CIO’s top three priorities across the world were the same as those of CEOs: market factors and technological factors.

UK and Irish CIOs also ranked regulatory concerns as one of the top three issues, but this appears lower down in CEOs’ list of priorities, indicating that although this is still a concern for business leaders, it may be something that has been delegated lower down the food chain.

Robertson, a former CIO for Swiss Re, said: “Our interpretation is that CEOs accept it’s something they just have to get on and do. It’s left to CIOs to implement the regulation at this point. But, within reason, you are seeing an alignment”