Personal Benchmark Report

Personal Benchmark Report

Welcome to your Report

It contains both a snapshot of how your key responses to the CIO Survey compare with your peer group plus further 'behind the scenes' data that you will not find in the formal published report.

Thanks so much for your feedback from last year. We’ve taken it on board and made some key changes, including getting a wider range of information into the report, more sector and geographical splits, as well as analysis around Board Priorities.

We hope you find it useful. It’s actually quite a project for us, so whatever your opinion of the PBR (from love to hate), we'd really appreciate your feedback!

The CIO Survey Team


Your Details

Your reference
Your job title
Your region
Your gender

Your dashboard

Swipe to reveal the rest of the table.

Your response

Most common response of peers in 2017





IT budget change

IT headcount change

Salary change

CEO focus: make or save money?





One that MAKES money (64%)

Length of time in current role



2 - 5 years

2 - 5 years

2-5 years (26%)

Our commentary:

Here’s a quick snapshot of some of your key responses and how they compare with your technology leader peer group across the world (4,498 of them to be exact). If you have taken part in previous CIO Surveys, we have also included these responses as well so you can see how your IT strategies and personal career have evolved.

So, that’s the snapshot. Let’s get into the detail…

Section A

A year of turbulence?

Our Question was:

Agree or disagree: The wider/global political, business and economic environment has become more unpredictable, and as a result I have had to adapt my technology strategy and plans.

You answered:



Last year many predicted that the slow, steady recovery after the Great Recession would continue and we all rather hoped that economic growth would accelerate. Few saw seismic change on the horizon. How wrong we were.

Whether it was the surprising result from the U.S. elections, or Brexit, or the increasing levels of more localised political and economic change in Latin America and Asia Pacific, it seems CIOs have become more used to unpredictable circumstances in the last year. As a result they are adapting their technology plans.

Your own response to the CIO Survey suggests that you, unlike most of your peers, have not needed to adapt your plans. Maybe this is because your organisation is already ‘uncertainty ready’, or simply that you have not felt the effects of uncertainty.

Encouragingly, the top strategy for dealing with uncertainty was not to restrict spending, or to hold back on innovation, but to invest in a more nimble platform (52% are doing this). It suggest CIOs are taking a positive, proactive in dealing with risk.

Select the tabs above to see how regions compare.

Section B

What is the board looking for you to do?

Swipe to reveal the rest of the table.

  2016 2017 Change past 12 months
Delivering consistent and stable IT performance to the business 52% 63% 21%
Increasing operational efficiencies 58% 62% 7%
Improving business processes 57% 59% 3%
Saving costs 50% 54% 8%
Developing innovative new products and services 42% 51% 21%
Delivering business intelligence / analytics 46% 46% 0%
Enabling business change 43% 42% -2%
Driving revenue growth 40% 40% 0%
Cyber security 41% 40% -2%
Managing operational risk and compliance 36% 34% -6%
Better engagement with customers/prospects 38% 31% -18%
Improving the success rate of projects 26% 23% -11%
Improving time to market 26% 23% -11%
Outperforming competitors with new business models 24% 22% -8%
Enabling mobile commerce 19% 19% 0%
Driving synergies from Mergers & Acquisitions 13% 11% -15%
Investing in Social Media platforms 7% 7% 0%
Achieving sustainable / green IT 7% 6% -14%
Reputation management via social media technology 7% 5% -29%

Our Question was:

What are the key priorities your board is look for you to address?

Our commentary:

Based on your response to the CIO Survey, your own organisation’s board is asking you to prioritise four of the top five priorities detailed above.

The vast majority of responses to the CIO Survey have respondents sharing at least four or five of these top five priorities, so your board has broadly similar aims as your peers.

In last year’s CIO Survey we reported that stable IT performance had dropped down the rankings. Customer engagement seemed to be an increasing priority, suggesting that IT leaders had cracked the difficult task of managing a complex operational environment.

But this year stable IT performance has rocketed back to the top of the list along with the need to develop innovative new products and services. These priorities illustrate the difficult landscape where IT leaders not only have to take risks implementing business process change with unprecedented levels of technical innovation, but they also have to make sure that these new systems are rock-solid in terms of performance and reliability. A real headache.

Section C

How does your strategic influence compare?

Our Question was:

Are you on the executive board? Do you believe the CIO’s influence is growing?

Your responses were:

Exec Board member:


Strategic Influence growing:


Our commentary:

In unpredictable times the strategic influence of the CIO continues to grow. For the first time in a decade, more than seven in ten respondents (71 percent) believe the CIO role in their organization is becoming more strategic, a viewpoint you agree with.

The general rise in strategic influence coincides with the growing proportion of IT leaders who sit on the operational board / executive management team. More than six in ten respondents now do this, the highest level we have recorded, and up nine percent on last year.

In terms of access to the main board, you told us you have attended a board meeting in the last 3 months, similar to most of your peers and suggesting a good access (and possibly influence) at the top level in your organisation.
Section D

Although influence grows, there’s still more to do

Our Question was:

Thinking about innovation, which of the following is the CIO currently doing, and what do you believe they should be doing.

Our commentary:

Despite the growing influence of the CIO, when it comes to innovation there is a clear gap between the role CIOs want to perform, and the role they are actually performing.

Sixty percent believe the top IT leader should be leading innovation across the entire business, when in fact only 26% actually are. The reality right now is that many IT leaders are having a pivotal role in the technical element of innovation, but not the business element.

Section E

A good year for budgets?

Our Question was:

How did your budget change in the last year?

Your response:


Just like last year budget growth is strong; almost half (46%) of CIOs received a budget increase in the last year.

You indicated that your own IT budget has increased over the last year, like almost half of your peers.
Section F

We’re seeing long-term budget growth

Our Question was:

How have budgets changed in the past?

Our commentary:

Since 2009 we have seen an uptick in IT spending, culminating in this year where the proportion of IT departments maintaining or increasing their spend has reached an eight year high. Clearly then, despite ongoing concern about uncertainty and the overhang of the Great Recession, investing in technology remains a priority.

What this chart also shows is that the growth itself has seemed to plateaued. Outside recession, there seems to be a pattern of around 42% - 47% of CIOs experiencing budget growth each year.

Section G

How does your budget compare to your sector?

Swipe to reveal the rest of the table.

Sector Number of Respondents Average % 1st Quartile % Median % 3rd Quartile %
ALL 1,881 9.3 3 5.6 10.9
Advertising / PR 23 17.6 5 10 20
Broadcast / Media 69 10.6 3 7 15
Business / Professional Services 217 9.4 3 5 10
Charity / Non Profit 48 6.9 3 5 10
Construction / Engineering 73 3.5 1 2 3
Education 76 6.9 4 5 8
Energy 48 6.7 1 3 5
Financial Services – Banking 147 14.6 5 10 16
Financial Services – Insurance 122 9.1 3 5 10
Financial Services – Other 84 11.2 5 10 15
Government – Central/Federal 46 11.2 4 10 20
Government – Local/State  38 5.5 2 3 5
Healthcare 137 7.1 2 4 10
Manufacturing 188 3.3 1 2 3
Pharmaceuticals 23 3.3 1 3 3
Retail / Leisure 146 4.6 1 2 5
Technology / Telecoms 269 17.9 5 10 22
Transport / Logistics 101 7.2 2 3 6
Utilities 26 2.9 2 2 5

Our Question was:

What proportion of your organisation’s turnover (or public sector budget) is spent on IT

The data you see here is from the 2016 Survey. We didn’t ask the question this year as we don’t expect data to change year to year, however the positive feedback we received last time we published it encouraged us to do so again.

We will ask the question in next year’s survey and see if there are changes.

As you can see, we have included some extra data, over and above the simple average, to help give some context to how we came to our figures. Not all respondents answered this question so we have included sample sizes.

Section H

Projects continue to be a challenge, but why?

Our Question was:

How effective is your organisation at executing projects?

Your response was:

Very effective

Our commentary:

One topic that has been raised again and again in the Q&A section of our launch events, has been projects. In fact in one of our events we had to encourage the audience to move onto another topic, such was the enthusiasm!

It’s no surprise, technology projects are difficult, and although there are many examples of how technology projects have transformed organisations, there are also many examples of where they have not.

The facts are clear: only 34% of CIOs feel they are making a real success of them, and the rest feel there is room for improvement.

You report that your own organization is ‘Very effective’, putting you ahead of two-thirds of your peers, and potentially a source for competitive advantage.

Project success does vary based on sector. Almost half of projects in Healthcare are Very effective, compared to a quarter in Advertising. So does this mean there are lots of project failures in Advertising? Not quite. If you filter the chart above you will notice Advertising has the most Moderately effective projects of all sectors. This is faint praise and paints a picture of a sector finding it difficult to drive value, perhaps because projects are more complex or difficult to define.….more of which in the next section.

Section I

Why do projects fail?

Swipe to reveal the rest of the table.

  What is your current total IT budget?
  Less than $50m $50m to $250m More than $250m Total
Weak ownership and support from the business 46.8% 48.5% 40.4% 46.1%
Over-optimistic expectations 38.8% 44.1% 46.0% 40.1%
Unclear objectives 39.9% 38.6% 38.3% 39.7%
Lack of talent / people 27.7% 24.5% 20.2% 26.6%
Poor governance or project management 23.1% 31.9% 29.6% 24.8%
Overly complex 19.5% 28.7% 36.6% 22.0%
Lack of budget 20.2% 9.7% 14.6% 18.3%
External changes in business/political/economic environment 17.1% 17.7% 13.9% 16.7%
Poor tools / methodologies 6.3% 9.9% 7.0% 7.1%
Poor performance from IT supply chain 6.5% 7.0% 7.0% 6.6%
Technology innovation made project obsolete 3.3% 1.9% 4.9% 3.1%

Our Question was:

What are the main reasons IT projects fail in your organisation?

Our commentary:

Weak ownership is the number one reason. Followed fairly closely by over-optimism and unclear objectives.

Interestingly, when you filter these by IT budget size (which you can do by selecting the column headers), you will notice the top cause of failure for larger organizations is over-optimism. Bigger projects can often bring bigger expectations….and bigger disappointment if they don’t succeed.


Section J

Skills shortages are the new normal

Our Question was:

Is your organization experience a technology skills shortage?

Your response was:


Our commentary:

Once again, around 60 per cent of respondents are reporting skills shortages, although from your response it doesn’t look like this is such an issue for you.

In the heady times of the run-up to the Great Recession, nearly nine out of ten IT leaders were reporting skills shortages. This is now long past. However, in an industry constantly evolving, so too are the skills needed. Looking back at the past 12 years, there have only been three occasions where less than half of IT leaders were reporting skills shortages, suggesting that finding appropriately skilled talent has become a perennial concern in the sector.

Whilst data analytics remains the most in demand skill, enterprise architecture has seen the biggest jump, suggesting that CIOs are increasing spending more time finding ways of stitching together their ever growing, and ever complex IT estate.

Section K

The rise of cyber crime

Our Question was:

Has your organization been subjected to any major IT security or cyber-attacks in the past two years? / Org’s that are Very prepared in how to identify and deal with a cyber attack

Your response was:




Quite well

Our commentary:

Cyber security remains a headache. Whilst it is very clear that the board is supportive to the CIO on the issue, many organisations are still struggling to deal with it. Cyber attacks have grown, with the biggest jump coming from insiders, and preparedness is declining.

Section L

Digital strategies growing

Our questions were:

Does your organisation have a clear digital business vision and strategy?

Your response was:

Yes, enterprise-wide

Our commentary:

Since we first deep dived into digital strategies in 2015 the proportion of companies with enterprise wide strategies has sky rocketed from 27% to 41%. To put another way, one in seven organisations have developed digital strategies in the last two years.

Your own organisation has an enterprise-wide strategy, putting you in the top third of organisations which have a structured approach to digital.

Sectors most likely to have a digital strategy are, perhaps unsurprisingly, also the sectors most likely to be affected by digital disruption: Technology, Broadcast / Media and Telecommunications.

Section M

Say hello to the CDO

Our questions were:

Does your organisation have a Chief Digital Officer, or someone working in that capacity?

Your response was:


Our commentary:

The year 2017 has emerged as another ‘big-leap’ year for the Chief Digital Officer. The proportion of organisations with a CDO in place has more than tripled in three years, suggesting a positive correlation between CDOs, the adoption of enterprise-wide digital strategy, and very effective digital capabilities reported in 2017. After exploding onto the scene in 2014/15, the pace of CDO appointments levelled out somewhat in 2016, but the speed of CDO hiring has picked up again, with a 39 per cent growth compared with last year.

You report that your own organisation does not have a CDO and has no intentions of hiring one. Clearly you are finding different ways to satisfy the demand for digital leadership, perhaps through other roles.
Section N

The robots are coming

Our question was:

Is your organization current investing in, or planning to invest in digital labor, cognitive automation or robotic process automation?

Your response was:


Our commentary:

This year the CIO Survey turned its attention to digital labour. It’ a topic that has caught a lot of media attention, especially about its the future potential, but we wanted to get behind the headlines and see just what organisations are doing about it right now.

And we were surprised.

More than a third of all respondents (34 per cent) are already investing in, or are planning to invest in, digital labour in 2017, including robotic process automation and cognitive automation. This proportion increases to more than six in ten respondents at larger organisations (62 per cent), and half of respondents at mid-sized organisations (52 per cent) are already investing or planning to invest.

IT leaders in the Manufacturing sector are most likely to be actively investing in robotic process and cognitive automation. Select the drop down above to see how sectors compare.

Section O

The future of automation

Our question was:

What investment are you currently making in automation? (only respondents Yes to the previous question)

Our question was:

What investment do you plan to make in the next 1 – 3 years in automation? (only respondents Yes to the previous question)

Our commentary:

Just looking at those respondents who are investing in, or plan to invest in, robotics/automation, it is remarkable to see the anticipated investment growth planned for the next three years. Currently, most of these respondents are making ‘minimal’ or ‘moderate’ investments in automation. That pattern dramatically alters when looking one to three years ahead, with nearly four in ten respondents expecting to be making ‘significant’ investments in cognitive automation and basic robotic process automation.

We talk more about this in the main CIO Survey report.

Section P

Salary against budget

Our Question was:

What is your Salary / Bonus / Benefits? Filtered against IT budget size

You answered:


$200,000 - $219,999

Total comps


IT Budget


Our commentary:

Of course budget size is only one factor when it comes to salary; your sector plays an important role too (with Financial Services and FMCG CIOs at the top, and Charity, Construction, Public sector and – perhaps surprisingly – Legal towards the bottom).

Section Q

And finally…

Our question was:

How fulfilling do you find your current job?

Our commentary:

IT leaders, it seems, love their jobs. The proportion of IT leaders who report that they are ‘very fulfilled’ in their role is at a three-year high and has risen by 18 per cent since 2015. During this time, we have seen a steady increase in respondents who have changed their preference from ‘quite fulfilling’ to ‘very fulfilling’. Clearly, despite all the trials and tribulations of IT leadership, the CIO career landscape is improving!

Will it continue to improve?

Take part in the 2018 CIO Survey and you’ll be the first to find out!

PBRs - shall we do them again?

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