CEOs Look to IT Leaders for Future Success, Growth

Almost all CEOs and business owners believe their companies' IT departments with play critical roles in their businesses in 2015, a Modis survey found.

CIOs and IT management

CEOs believe IT will play a critical role in the success of their businesses, with company leaders and business owners trusting their IT senior leader, with the overwhelming majority believing their chief information officers (CIO) hires the right IT talent for their business, according to a report from Modis.

Nearly all CEOs and business owners trust their head of IT to appropriately invest in technology that will grow their business (98 percent).

"The CEO and CIO have become extremely close business partners in recent years due to impact technology has had on business results," Jack Cullen, president of Modis," told eWEEK. "With the ever-growing concerns of network security, mobility--the opportunities and the risks--big data, BYOD and Web development, the CIO is now a key steward on the CEO's leadership team."

Cullen said that instead of being aware of the CIO's plans on how technology is being used, the CIO has become a true business confidant and adviser.

In fact, almost all (93 percent) CEOs and business owners believe that their companies' IT departments will play critical roles in their business in 2015.

The survey also indicated CIOs are successfully articulating their value, with CIOs making sure that other departments understand the role they play, according to CEOs and business owners, as nearly all (98 percent) say they adequately articulate the role IT plays at their company to other departments.

Business chiefs also appear to feel IT is mostly on par or above expectations--nearly all CEOs and business owners believe their IT department is either delivering on par (51 percent) or above expectations (36 percent) when it comes to their return on investment. Only 7 percent do not believe they are meeting expectations.

As such, it comes as no surprise that nearly half (48 percent) intend to increase their IT budget in 2015, with almost as many keeping it the same (46 percent). Only a few (5 percent) are planning to decrease IT budgets in 2015.

Areas of the business receiving high dollar investments include infrastructure upgrades that focus on speed to market, security and mobility.

Data protection and security around sensitive customer data, big data initiatives and continued spending on the customer’s Website to capture increased market share or improve the company's brand, are all areas where business executives are focusing their attention.

Cullen also noted conflicts can arise between other C-suite executives like chief marketing officers (CMOs) and the CIO, stemming from disputes about strategy and IT investments.

"A CMO may be hell bent on a certain product or tool that the CIO just does not wish to embrace," he said. "While these conflicts do play a part in many companies and in many departments, I have seen the decision of the CIO trump that of many of the other C levels in the organization."