Insights from the Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey

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07 November 2018

Despite almost half of CIOs receiving a salary increase in the last year, job satisfaction is dropping. 

For the last 20 years, Harvey Nash has been conducting what is now the world's largest survey of IT leaders. 

Although no-one becomes a CIO expecting an easy life, it still came as a surprise when this year's survey revealed job fulfilment has taken a dip, and this despite almost 50% of our 4000 global respondents (40% of respondents from Germany) receiving a salary increase.

The role of CIO becoming more strategic

With almost two thirds of CIOs being members of the board or part of the executive management team, the majority agree that their role is becoming more strategic and this is being reflected in increasing salaries.

But while CIOs from the leisure, professional services and engineering industries experienced the highest jump in base salaries, only respondents from non-Profit, pharmaceutical and media organisations report an increase in job satisfaction.

In fact, one in five CIOs plans to leave their current role within the year.

The growing scope of IT 

So with salaries rising, why the job dissatisfaction? 

Our survey reveals that with the rapid evolution of the role of IT within organisations,many CIOs are experiencing Scope Creep: Data management, data security, compliance,digital transformation, shadow IT - the responsibilities of the CIO are growing and many report frustration that those responsibilities are blurred or worse,presumed without consent.

The battle for digital influence 

Furthermore, at first glance it looks like the CIO is losing influence over their organisation's digital agenda. Our survey reports that an increasing proportion of the tech budget is being controlled outside of the IT department.

In Germany alone,63% (highest respondents globally) tell us that over 10%of the tech budget is allocated outside of IT.So who owns this proportion of the budget?

It would seem that the Chief Digital Officer has truly landed – a third of surveyed organisations in 2018 already have or plan to have a dedicated or acting CDO in place. 

It’s no surprise, considering that organisations that have a CDO are seen to be better placed to “take advantage of digital”.

From CIO to Digital Leader

The truth, however, lies deeper in the statistics.

Despite the rise of the Digital Officer, IT Leaders serving as CDOs dwarf the number of already dedicated CDOs by overtwo to one. Our survey confirms that the CIO continues to lead the digital agenda. It would seem that many are indeed Chief Digital Officers in everything but job title.

Our conclusion is clear: Salaries are rising as the role of the CIO expands. 

However, job satisfaction for the CIO is not linked to salary but to influence over the organisation‘s digital strategy.

Our survey partners from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) conclude in their analysis of the survey results:“CIOs in organisations that are digital leaders act more strategically.

They work with the executive team to influence and guide the enterprise on the effective use of digital technologies.”

It is, therefore, no surprise to us that CIOs who meet the definition of Digital Leader report finding their roles “very fulfilling”.