Who Knew? IT Decision Makers Are News Junkies

CIOs want to know what's going on in the world.

As a life long newsman, spotting news junkies like myself was right my alley. Takes one to know one, right?

But the results of a Harris poll that found "IT Decision Makers (ITDM)" to be news junkies three times more than the general population surprised me. Harris separately polled 2,286 U.S. adults and 299 full-time IT decision makers (ages 18 and older, work for a company with 20+ employees) in August.

Here's the key findings from the Harris press release:

"With over a third (36%) of ITDMs describing themselves as "news junkies," this group is nearly three times as likely as the general population (13%) to display this level of interest in the news. In contrast, general U.S. adults are roughly three times as likely as ITDMs to indicate that they are not really interested in the news (14% and 5%, respectively). The remaining 59% of ITDMs and 73% of U.S. adults say they like to keep up with the news, but it's just one of many ways they spend their leisure time.

Modes of choice

All talk of shattering stereotypes aside, it may not come as a surprise that ITDMs are much more likely than U.S. adults overall to list some sort of online source as their preferred way to get news (65% and 38%, respectively). More specifically, nearly half of ITDMs (45%) prefer to get their news online, on a computer (vs. 27% of U.S. adults), 12% look to a tablet computer (vs. 5% among the general population) and roughly one in ten (9%) reach into their pocket to use their mobile device (vs. 6% of Americans overall)."

IT decisions makers include CIOs or anyone with influence in IT. That Harris set out to find out who's a new junkie and found that ITDMs rose to the top is truly unique.   

What's also interesting is Harris' characterization of IT and how surprised it was to find this hidden professional stereotype such as the dishonest car salesman or corrupt politician.

"For those in information technology, like other technological fields, there is sometimes a perception of existing in something of a high-tech echo chamber, cut off from the world at large." 

IT shut off from the world at large is the more disturbing and dated stereotype. C'mon, Harris. IT is really trying to shed the perception that its cloistered away in some ivory tower. Haven't you pollsters heard of Big Data, consumerization, BYOD and the cloud which has brought (or forced) IT out of the shadows?

Harris explains ITDM news junkiness this way:

"It may not come as a surprise that ITDMs are much more likely than U.S. adults overall to list some sort of online source as their preferred way to get news (65% and 38%, respectively). More specifically, nearly half of ITDMs (45%) prefer to get their news online, on a computer (vs. 27% of U.S. adults), 12% look to a tablet computer (vs. 5% among the general population) and roughly one in ten (9%) reach into their pocket to use their mobile device (vs. 6% of Americans overall)."

Sorry, I am not buying that explanation given that everyone I know consumes news online, stationary or mobile. You haven't had to be in IT for years to have that distinction. We all sit in front computers and mobile devices for a large part of the work day.

But CIO news junkies news? That's a new one on me.

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