by Edward Qualtrough

More than half of CIOs reporting to CEO and meeting Chief Executive weekly, 2018 CIO 100 reveals

Apr 24, 2018

More than half of CIOs report to their organisation’s CEO and meet with the Chief Executive at least once a week, according to the 2018 CIO 100.

The 2018 CIO 100 showed 53% of CIOs reporting to their CEO, 14% to a CFO and 15% to a Chief Operating Officer. A further 5% are reporting to their CEO and another CxO in a dual reporting structure, with 2% to Global CIOs, and 11% to other titles including Deputy CEOs, a Chief Commercial Officer, the board, and strategy chiefs.

Global Radio Director of Technology and Operations David Henderson was recognised by the CIO 100 judging panel as the 2018 CIO 100 leader, along with Trainline CTO Mark Holt and News UK CTO Christina Scott.

The 2018 CIO 100 thus shows a small increase in the number reporting to Chief Executives – up from 48% in 2017 but still below the 56% from 2016 – as well as a decrease from the 19% being managed by finance leaders.

The decrease in CIOs with a finance reporting line continues a gradual trend – the figure had a high of 30% in the 2014 edition of the CIO 100.

Executive leadership

With more than 50% of CIOs having a direct reporting line to their organisation’s most senior leaders, the CIO 100 shows that CIOs, CTOs, IT directors and equivalents are enjoying a close proximity to CEOs as innovation, technology and digital transformation agendas are pushed up the agenda by chief execs.

Indeed, some 83% responded they were part of their organisation’s executive leadership team, up from 81% in 2017. However, full board level representation is much rarer with 29% of CIOs full members on their organisation’s board.

Some 51% of CIOs responded they met with their CEO at least once a week, comprising 10% having daily catch-ups, 13% meeting multiple times a week, and 28% with weekly meetings.

While 83% of CIOs responded they were members of their organisation’s senior leadership team, only 29% were full board members.

CIO on board

2018 CIO 100 member Dave Roberts is a board director at Radius Payment Solutions, and responding to the statistics suggested that CIOs needed to portray themselves as credible business leaders.

“For a CIO to gain credibility with the CEO and board, they need to talk in terms of business outcomes,” he said. “Technology is an enabler to drive greater efficiency, product diversification and increasing speed to market. The CIO is not just a trusted business partner and technology advisor but also a driver of innovation and thought leadership across the C-Suite.”

CIO at The Restaurant Group, Simon Iddon, said that with technology increasingly reporting into CEOs rather than CFOs, it could show that IT was seen less as a cost centre and ‘business as usual’ function, and increasingly as a business enabler with broader benefits.

“It demonstrates the desire for a direct reporting line which implies more one-on-ones, more focus, more understanding and interest in the benefits and thought-leadership an end-to-end business CIO should bring,” he said.

Iddon added that boards could be missing out by not including senior technology executives, as well as their HR colleagues.

“This should be higher and I believe strongly that proper business CIOs who see opportunities and bring thought-leadership, strategy and vision matched with delivery should sit – along with HR – on more boards. Businesses that do not fully embrace the power of technology and people will fall to the wayside of those who do,” he said.

Following the 2017 CIO 100, panel judge Jerry Fishenden questioned the capability and competence of CEOs as much as he did CIOs for the lack of representation of CIOs at board level. Fellow panellist and Gartner research director Ian Cox commented that while it was positive CIOs were likely to be part of their organisation’s executive leadership, the onus was on the CIO community to demonstrate that they can be one of the CEO’s most trusted and valued executives, and someone that the CEO wanted reporting into them.