CIOs expecting tenures to last five years or less

Many CIOs expect to be in their roles for five years or less, according to new research.

Just over half (58 per cent) of IT chiefs responding to the 2017 Harvey Nash/KPMG annual CIO survey believe that the length of their tenure will be half a decade. But they want to stay in their posts longer than this typical life span.

The proportion of IT leaders who want to stay in their current role for more than five years has increased from 24 per cent in 2015 to 28 per cent in 2017. This may reflect that increasing importance of the CIO role and that influence is translating into job satisfaction, which is also increasing, the report said.

“Our experience in the recruiting industry, together with external research, suggests that if a CIO wants to extend their shelf life, then it is critical that they pay close attention to their stakeholder relations together with the performance of their major projects,” the research said.

“Hygiene factors such as maintaining stable and reliable services are also vital. Nobody wants to talk about strategy when basic IT services are erratic.”

More than a third of IT chiefs in the not-for-profit sector want to move on from their roles. One in four tech c-levels in construction and engineering are also looking to move jobs this year. In contrast, only 11 per cent of CIOs in the pharmaceutical industry are looking for a new job in 2017.

Meanwhile, CIOs who report that they are ‘very fulfilled’ in their roles is at a three year high and has risen by 18 per cent since 2015.

“During this time, we have seen a steady increase in respondents who have changed their preference from ‘quite fulfilling’ to ‘very fulfilling.’ Clearly, despite all the trials and tribulations of IT leadership, the CIO career landscape is improving.”

When asked if the CIO role will be extinct by 2030, survey respondent Triona O’Keeffe, who is CIO at Direct Line Group in the United Kingdom, said she anticipates that business and technology will be virtually indistinguishable, “similar to how life and technology have blended in so many ways over the past decade.”

“CIO roles will still exist but there will be much fewer of them and they will be working in less fast-moving businesses or where a CIO is needed to decommission legacy technology. Meanwhile there will be a huge surge of opportunity for ex-CIOs who can use their transferable skillset to be true business leaders,” she predicted.

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Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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