CIOs urged to embrace innovation

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Three-quarters of CIOs admit that they are not driving innovation within their organisations, despite a widespread recognition that IT is a critical element in business innovation.

Consultancy Capgemini's third annual global CIO survey revealed that two-thirds of CIOs regard IT as playing a critical role in fostering business innovation, but only a quarter say that IT is taking a leadership role on delivering that innovation.

The report also found that 60 per cent of those polled thought the IT department could deal with both managing innovation and “fundamental IT services”.

Inevitably, as IT has become the engine room of today's enterprise many departments end up focused on operations, argued Capgemini's executive consultant, Ivar Sinka. "But if you do that to the exclusion of all else it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy."

“There should be an element of the [business change agent] role and the [IT operator] role in CIOs – matching the balance of the two with your sector’s requirements is important.”

He urged CIOs to have separate strategies for IT fundamentals and innovation and think carefully about the right balance needed.

The research found that those businesses which were classed as “top innovators” tended to have executives teams that had a good understanding of IT; in many of these cases the CIO reports to directly to the chief executive or chief operating officer – and not to the finance director.
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