September 2012: Research by Penn Schoen Berland and Burson-Marsteller shows:
Being seen as service-providing ‘geeks’ is a perception that IT decision-makers would actively like to dispel. Our research, in conjunction with Burson-Marsteller, among European IT decision-makers shows a big divergence between the day-to-day experience of their role and the image held by non-IT colleagues and the wider world. Sixty per cent of IT decision-makers agree that colleagues believe they can work miracles by retrieving un-backed-up data and over a quarter think their peers believe they spy on their emails.
The role of the CIO is multi-faceted and complex, and, while many find this exciting, it presents a number of challenges. Broad yet specific, ‘geeky’ yet central to business strategy, focused on quick fixes but with an eye on the bigger picture, the world of the CIO is pulled in many different directions, from on-the-spot problem solving to providing strategic new solutions to IT problems.
This is a group that is passionate about technology and innovation. Despite being sometimes seen as forces of conservatism, over three-quarters agree that “IT departments work best when they embrace new ideas and breakthroughs in technology”. Two-thirds see themselves as the primary source of innovation in their organisations.
IT decision-makers are increasingly strategic, and would like more responsibility for business decisions. A significant proportion of IT decision-makers see it as part of their role to create business opportunities. Three-quarters think that the IT department is central to their company’s business strategy.
Positively, the research found high levels of trust in the IT community. Technology companies are highly trusted by IT decision-makers, with 51 per cent claiming to trust technology companies a lot. Traditional media is still trusted most but trust in social media is rising, with approximately one in five trusting Twitter across UK, France and Italy, almost the same level of trust as radio.
Christine Armstrong, Vice President, Penn Schoen Berland, commented: “Stereotypical attitudes to technology experts remain prevalent. IT decision-makers clearly feel misunderstood, and their contribution underestimated quite significantly. They see themselves as strategic innovators, vital to the success of their company.”
Chris Cartwright, Chair of Burson-Marsteller’s Technology Practice in EMEA, commented: “In the context of a world of contested communications, where many competing voices are jostling for air time amid unprecedented volume and range of information sources, being present, compelling and consistent, across all channels is therefore imperative. Over-reliance on any one channel, either for awareness or influence may lead to being blindsided by conversations, opinions and decisions conveyed via another”.
PSB conducted 300 online interviews with IT Decision-Makers (ITDMs) between 25th and 28th July 2012 in France, Germany, Italy and the UK. ITDMs are defined as CIOs, IT Directors or IT managers with significant purchasing authority (primary or shared). All work in medium (50-300 people) or large-sized (over 300 people) businesses.
For more information please contact Christine Armstrong at PSB London (firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7300 6404)
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