The CIO under assault

There is growing dissatisfaction with the performance of chief information officers, even among their own IT staff according to the findings of a recent survey of 807 business executives by McKinsey & Co.

A full 28 percent of 337 IT execs surveyed say that replacing the IT leadership would improve IT performance at their company. This compares with only 13 percent of non-IT execs who believe this is the best way to improve IT performance.

Other ways that respondents believe IT performance could be improved include better business accountability for IT projects, reallocation of funds to focus on critical drivers of business value and improvement in the overall level of IT staff talent and capabilities.

Surprisingly, for IT respondents, replacing IT management topped increasing IT budgets as the best way to improve IT performance.

"Amid the increasing pressure and dissatisfaction, the enthusiasm to replace management highlights the concerns of some IT organizations that their leaders cannot manage change in rapidly evolving circumstances. Just 55 percent of all executives say their CIOs have a significant impact on their organizations' business issues, and a nearly equal share says their CIOs are part of the most senior executive team," McKinsey explains.

In addition, one-third of respondents believe that there will be a shortage of mobile IT talent over the next 12 months. That concern is highest in the financial and high-tech sectors, where mobile technology is seen as vital to performance.

To address shortages in talent, firms should improve the culture, energy and morale of IT organizations, and offer higher salaries, as well as more benefits and incentives, the survey finds.

The job of the CIO is getting tougher and especially when their own staff wants them to leave the company. No wonder some of them believe CIO should stand for "Career Is Over." - Fred