by Thomas Wailgum

East Coast CIOs vs. West Coast CIOs: A Feud in the Making?

Sep 27, 2010
IT Leadership

Where are CIOs seen as most strategic? A new survey shows New York area CIOs are gaining on Silicon Valley IT leaders.

East Coast CIOs vs. West Coast CIOs: While the rivalry doesn’t have the intrigue of hip-hop’s East Coast-West Coast feud in the 1990s, nor as colorful characters (2Pac, West; and The Notorious B.I.G., East) or warring businesses (Death Row Records, West; Bad Boy Records, East), it still makes for some interesting comparisons. (Think: The Notorious C.I.O. vs. 2ServicePack.)

According to a 2010 survey of 2,600 CIOs worldwide, by PA Consulting Group and recruiter Harvey Nash, New York is catching up to the titans of Silicon Valley when it comes to technology leadership.

Four data points from the survey that compare the two areas show New York’s emergence:

  • 36 percent of NY respondents (72 of them) reported that an IT leader sits on the company’s board, compared with 19 percent of California CIOs.
  • 81 percent of NY CIOs said the role of CIO is becoming more strategic compared with only 60 percent of California CIOs.
  • 78 percent of NY CIOs ranked the integration of IT and the business as “full,” while only 67 percent of California CIOs did.
  • 40 percent of NY CIOs said they were actively looking to invest in technology in 2011 to overtake weakened competitors. That figure is 10 percent higher than what their peer counterparts across the United States reported.

The large population of financial services CIOs in the New York region—where IT is not merely a nice-to-have but a business necessity for survival—explains some of the skewed results.

But the results do show that you don’t need to be solely based in California to be on the cutting edge of IT. Or, for that matter, creating great hip-hop music.

Thomas Wailgum covers Enterprise Software, Data Management and Personal Productivity Apps for Follow him on Twitter @twailgum. Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline. E-mail Thomas at