by Kim S. Nash

Who’s Above Average?

Jan 01, 20122 mins

The most business-savvy CIOs tend to report to the CEO, lead a non-IT area, and make more money than average CIOs

CIOs at companies where the IT organization is considered a business peer or game-changer predict a good year ahead for their organizations, more so than do CIOs not viewed so favorably—48 percent vs. 34 percent.

Perhaps the elite CIOs see something in the economic tea leaves that other CIOs don’t. Or maybe their notably impressive stats make them feel more powerful and in control, no matter what the economy, politics or fickle customers may bring.

This year’s State of the CIO survey finds that peers and game-changer CIOs are more likely to:

  • Report to the CEO: 60 percent vs. 38 percent for the CIOs in the rest of our survey
  • Sit on the business executive management committee: 85 percent vs. 66 percent
  • Lead a non-IT area, such as security, operations or customer service: 68 percent vs. 57 percent
  • Work to improve risk-management processes using technology: 40 percent vs. 28 percent
  • Have already completed major initiatives in social media (37 percent vs. 24 percent), cloud computing (36 percent vs. 28 percent) and e-commerce or digital strategy (25 percent vs. 16 percent)

Monitoring the competition climbs higher on the agenda of elite CIOs, with 66 percent of them concerned about that topic, compared to 50 percent of total respondents. They’re more likely to anticipate that innovative new products or processes will be among their team’s most significant accomplishments in 2012 (38 percent vs. 28 percent) and to have initiated new products and services for competitive advantage to cement a good relationship with non-IT colleagues (60 percent vs. 40 percent). (See also “CIOs Disconnected From Business Execs.”)

Perhaps it’s a chicken-or-egg situation, but having done all that, elite CIOs enjoy proportionally bigger IT budgets: 5.8 percent of revenue vs. 4.7 percent. Oh yeah, and they make more money, on average: $245,000, compared to $218,000 for the rest of the respondents.

Follow Senior Editor Kim S. Nash on Twitter: @knash99. Research Director Carolyn Johnson also contributed to this report.