Pessimism and fear for role widespread among Irish CIOs

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10 December 2015 | 0

Chief information officers in mid to large size Irish organisations are increasingly worried about an erosion of their role, board level demands and the need to demonstrate greater impact and business benefits from IT.

According to new research from BT Ireland, carried out by Amarach, nearly three quarters (72%) of Irish CIOs and IT leaders admit they are struggling to keep up with the pace of technological change within their organisations and risk having their careers steadily eroded due to the pace of change. This is despite more than three quarters (77%) welcoming new technologies, such as cloud solutions.

More than two thirds (68%) reported that they were under greater pressure internally to manage the increasing demands of other departments driven by new technologies, while almost half (48%) reported that change to their role is being driven by personnel outside of IT taking on IT-related activities, such as digital marketing.

Nearly two thirds (61%) reported growing demands to demonstrate greater impact and business benefits from IT, while almost half reported change to their role being driven by board level decisions. A mere 38% saw this change as opening up new career opportunities.

Amid this is a growing awareness of the need for new skills to succeed and gain higher leadership positions within their organisations in the future. Of those surveyed, nearly two thirds (65%) felt that management skills would be crucial while a similar proportion (63%) opted for business skills. Financial management (56%) and sales skills were also seen as essential in the near future.

“This is very enlightening research for the Irish and European IT market, as it reflects the global trend that we are seeing across our business worldwide,” said Shay Walsh, managing director, BT Ireland. “More and more savvy CEOs internationally are putting CIOs on the fast track by training them to marry their traditional skillset with a broader business discipline.

“As technology continues to transform business, the CIO/IT leader will become an integral business and C level asset for large organisations,” said Walsh. “CIOs in large indigenous and multinational organisations here in Ireland now have a major opportunity to develop new skills that will see them step from behind the technical and into a business leadership position.”

The survey was carried out by Amarach for BT Ireland in November among 115 respondents in organisations of 300 or more staff, across multiple sectors in B2B and B2C.

In an effort to cope with the level and pace of change, Walsh said that organisations globally are moving towards more hybrid infrastructure environments.  To that end, BT offers its BT Cloud Compute, which is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) deployed through a self-service portal. This, says BT, gives businesses the tools, resources and expertise to implement next generation technology.

“Through our services and expertise,” said Walsh, “we are enabling customers to create a customised hybrid IT platform using a combination of traditional and emerging technologies.”

“This provides them with the choice and flexibility to align IT solutions with their business as their strategy evolves, all the while leveraging best in class infrastructure and a range of professional services, should they require,” he said.


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