CIO’s 17th Annual State of the CIO Survey Highlights the Role Tech Plays in a Culture of Innovation

Tech Budgets and Resources Focus on Security and Customer Experience

Boston, Mass., Jan. 29, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CIO’s 17th Annual State of the CIO Survey Highlights the Role Tech Plays in a Culture of Innovation

Tech Budgets and Resources Focus on Security and Customer Experience

Boston, Mass. – January 29, 2018 –IDG’s CIO—the executive-level IT media brand providing insight into business technology leadership—reveals insights into the role senior tech leaders hold at their organizations and the collaborative approach that is setting the ground work for innovation in the 2018 State of the CIO Survey (click to tweet). The majority of CIOs (73%) find it challenging to balance business innovation and operational excellence, however, they are taking steps to accomplish just that.

“As a CIO, I was hired to make sure that the trains run, but I also focus on innovation and disrupting ourselves to stay ahead of the curve,” said Ron Guerrier, CIO at Farmers Insurance Group of Companies.

CIOs Establishing a Culture for Innovation
Over the next 3 years, the majority of CIOs (57%) anticipate spending time on strategic activities, where they are driving innovation and identifying opportunities for competitive differentiation. Fortunately, their current environment and business practices are setting them up for success. Almost half of CIOs (47%) report directly to the CEO and the average tenure for CIOs is 5 years and 8 months.

“CEOs are looking for CIOs to drive innovation, and their longevity at the organization is important to ensure that plans are able to be fully executed as outlined,” explained Adam Dennison, SVP & General Manager, IDG Events and CIO Executive Council, and Publisher, CIO. “Customer experience is vital to innovation, and fortunately CIOs are not working in a silo as 71% are meeting with customers to get first-hand insight on where their business can improve.”

CEOs are not the only ones relying on CIOs for business success. Line of business (LOB) partners view CIOs as strategic partners or consultants (80%), which has increased dramatically from 63% in 2017. This change in perspective may be a result of more collaboration as technology becomes more of a shared resource and investment. When looking at technology investment, overall, IT maintains control of the majority of tech spending (55%), with additional pockets of tech budget residing in departments such as marketing, operations and finance/accounting. However, tech spending for specific departments is most often done in tandem with IT.

“During collaborative IT conversations with line of business colleagues, I ask ‘what business problem needs to be solved?’” Kristie Grinnell, CIO & VP Information Technology & Supply Chain, General Dynamics Information Technology. “Business led IT allows real business problems to be solved in a secure way, while also considering customer experience.”

Heightened Focus on Security
For the first time in the history of this survey, security moved to the top spot for where CIOs are spending their time, up 13 percentage points to 54%. This transition demonstrates the fluidity between functional and strategic activities. Additionally, 54% of CIOs shared that IT security and IT strategy are tightly aligned, and this alignment is anticipated to increase to 82% over the next three years. Given the recent trajectory of breaches, CEOs are looking to CIOs to update data security to avoid cyber attacks.

Continue the Conversation
To dive deeper into how to lead organizational change and innovation through digital and disruptive technologies, business and technology leaders are invited to attend the AGENDA18 conference taking place March 19-21, 2018 in Miami, Florida.  To learn about sponsoring AGENDA18, contact Adam Dennison at   

Explore the Future State of the CIO
The CIO Executive Council looks at the IT profession — and career — as a journey. It has moved up the value chain from service provider to trusted adviser to business partner — and now corporate peer. CIOs and IT executives may find themselves anywhere on this spectrum, with the opportunity to master new competencies that propel their expertise — and their organizations — forward, from functional to transformational to strategic to innovative. The result: a model for driving change, value and innovation, and ensured relevance of the profession in any business climate. For more information on moving your business and career forward by joining the CIO Executive Council, visit

About State of the CIO Survey
CIO’s 2018 State of the CIO survey was conducted among the CIO brand’s audience. The 17th annual survey was fielded online with the objective of understanding the current parameters of the CIO role and how it may be changing over time. To be considered qualified respondents must have identified themselves as the head of IT for their company or a division within it. Results are based on
738 qualified IT respondents, and 275 LOB responses.

About CIO
CIO focuses on attracting the highest concentration of enterprise CIOs and business technology executives with unparalleled peer insight and expertise on business strategy, innovation, and leadership. As organizations grow with digital transformation, CIO provides its readers with key insights on career development, including certifications, hiring practices and skills development. The award-winning CIO portfolio provides business technology leaders with analysis and insight on information technology trends and a keen understanding of IT’s role in achieving business goals. CIO information is available at

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About IDG Communications, Inc.
IDG Communications connects the world of tech buyers with insights, intent and engagement. IDG Communications is the world’s largest media, data and marketing services company that activates and engages the most influential technology buyers. Our premium brands, including CIO®, Computerworld®, PCWorld® and Macworld®, engage the most powerful audience of technology buyers providing essential guidance on the evolving technology landscape. Our global data intelligence platform activates purchasing intent, powering our clients’ success. IDG Marketing Services creates custom content with marketing impact across video, mobile, social and digital. We execute complex campaigns that fulfill marketers’ global ambitions seamlessly with consistency that delivers results and wins awards. IDG is the #1 tech media company in the world, per comScore.*

*Source: comScore Media Metrix, Desktop Unique Visitors, Worldwide, January 2017

Additional information about IDG, a privately held company, is available at

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