It’s not boasting to say that CIO and its editors are experts on the CIO position. We’re in our 15th year of publication, and the position itself isn’t much older than that. We’ve always tracked the evolution of the role, pushed readers to fulfill its promise and urged companies to embrace it as a driver of the business. But I think it would have been a stretch, and a bit arrogant, to say we could “define” the state of the position. Until now. In our comprehensive “State of the CIO” survey and special report, we have interpreted findings collected from 500 heads of IT. We asked them everything from their responsibilities and challenges to their career histories and salaries in order to pinpoint where CIOs are today, where they’ve come from and where they’re heading.
The survey, conducted by Research Editor Lorraine Cosgrove Ware, shows what CIOs are doing; the special issue, coordinated by Leadership and Management Editor Edward Prewitt and art directed by Hana Barker, reveals how CIOs are doing it.
Why all the navel gazing? The CIO position is so uniquely complex in its duties and scope, and still relatively new, that it can’t help but be insular. The essence of CIO’s mission for the past decade and a half has been to break down that insularity and show you what your IT peers are up to. You may be aware that you don’t have enough time to do strategic planning, or that hiring and retaining talent is still a huge problem, or that effective communication is the most important skill for success. But did you know that disconnects with fellow CXOs are not really a significant hurdle for most CIOs these days? That, in fact, CIOs have great relationships with their CEOs? Did you realize that you’re not the only CIO who isn’t lusting after your boss’s position? In fact, you are among the majority of CIOs who want to stick fast to the IT career path. What about pay? Maybe you suspected that though your performance is evaluated on the same basis as other CXOs, your pay scale is orders of magnitude lower than theirs. Now, sorry to say, there’s proof.
View this issue as a perfect opportunity to break out of your insular world and see what your profession has come to. By comparing yourself with 500 peers, find out if you are in the ballpark, the dugout or left field. And see what kinds of plays your fellows are making now in this foul-ball economy. Good luck in your jobs, and once the stock goes up, for God’s sake ask for a pay raise!