Personal Benchmark Report

Welcome to your Personal Benchmark Report

It contains:

A snapshot of how your key responses to the CIO Survey compare with your peer group.

Further ‘behind the scenes’ data that you will not find in the formal published report.

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

Section 02

Your Details

Your reference


Your job title

VP / Director / Senior Manager IT

Your region

China Mainland

Your gender


Section 03

Your dashboard

Swipe to reveal the rest of the table.

Your response

Most common response of peers in 2018






IT budget change





IT headcount change





Salary change





CEO focus: make or save money?







Length of time in current role





1 - 2 years

2 - 5 years

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 (3,958 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 04

A year of investment

Our Question Was

How has your IT budget changed in the last 12 months?

Your Answer Was


Last year we reported how CIOs were holding a steady line in the face of global uncertainty, cutting costs and refining business processes.

Whilst much of this geopolitical instability remains, this year’s report shows how CIOs are benefitting from bigger budgets and headcount growth. 49% of IT leaders reported budget increases in the last year. Indeed, more IT leaders are enjoying budget increases than we have seen in the last thirteen years of reporting.

Not all of this technology budget now sits within IT. As we will touch on later investment in shadow IT is growing as more business functions take control of their own IT spend.

Our commentary:

Your own response to the CIO Survey indicates you are enjoying budget increases, like a significant proportion of your peers. Technology is increasingly becoming central to business strategies, and organisations are ramping up investment to stay ahead.

Section 05

Budgets by sector

Our Question Was

How has your IT budget changed in the last 12 months?

Your Answer Was


Your Sector


You can see how budget changes compare across sectors by selecting the drop down in the chart above.

As you can see, budget growth is widespread across all sectors, and is especially growing in Leisure, Technology and Professional Services.

This picture of growth isn’t just limited to investment in technology, we are also seeing investment in people growing: this year we’ve seen the highest level of headcount increases in the last seven years – 47% expect to grow their headcount.

It appears that despite a whole range of factors that are removing the need for headcount (for instance outsourcing, automation of IT, cloud base services) the raw need for people continues.

Section 06

What’s driving investment?

Top 3 board priorities:

Improving business process

Stable and consistent ITs

Increasing operational efficienciess

Top 3 growing priorities in last year:

Improving cyber security: +23%

Managing operational risk: +12%

Improving business process: +5%

The growth in budgets and people has been driven by a combination of factors.

Investment in digital and cloud continues at a pace, but this year we also see data privacy, governance and security draw the attention of boards.

In the last year, with high profile data misuse scandals and the increasing focus that GDPR in Europe is bringing, it is very clear consumers aren’t just asking whether their data is technically secure, but also whether they trust the company to handle their data.

CIOs have a difficult tight rope to walk. On one side the board is asking them to promote innovation, and a focus of deriving value from customer data like this.

On the other the board is asking for due diligence reports on security, data integrity and resilience, as governments and consumers alike become more demanding on personal data.

Section 07

The ins and outs of Outsourcing

Our Question Was

How do you expect your outsourcing spend to change in the next 12 months?

Your Answer Was

Stay the same

Interestingly there has been a big drop in intent to outsource this year. In previous years outsourcing spend has broadly tracked IT spend, but this year is different - technology spend has gone up, whilst the intent to outsource has actually gone down.

Our commentary:

Your own response shows you plan to maintain outsourcing spend, the most popular response and shared by 56% of your peers.

Certainly many CIOs we talk to are re-assessing the balance of skills they have, and focusing on building their innovation skills in-house.

Where the strategy is to focus on being close to the customer and driving insight from data, many CIOs feel these skills are better inside, rather than outside.

However it is very clear from this survey that outsourcing remains a key long-term strategy of most CIOs, regardless of how things change year to year. We are also seeing its purpose change; in the past the primary reason to outsource was cost, today the main reason is to access hard to find skills.

Section 08

Strategic influence – a blip?

Our Question Was

In your opinion, is the role of CIO / IT Director becoming more or less strategic within your organization?

Your Answer Was


Our commentary:

Given that IT investment is increasing, you would typically expect this to be accompanied by an increase in the importance of the CIO, but actually this year we see a potential ‘blip’. We also see CIOs reporting being on the executive board down 9%.

Your own view is that the CIO role is not increasing in importance, suggesting you might be unsurprised by this blip.

Of course it’s important to not overplay one year’s worth of statistics, however in a world of constant change, it sometimes doesn’t hurt consider how the role is evolving.

And it’s certainly the case that just because technology is becoming more important it does not mean the technology leader is as well. The incessant rise of shadow IT, the explosive growth of the Chief Digital Officer and changing nature of technology have removed many of the certainties that have fuelled the importance of the CIO role.

Section 09

Shadow IT – steps out of the shadows

Our Question Was

What proportion of your IT budget is controlled outside IT?

Your Answer Was


The average response was:


Our commentary:

This year’s report shows another jump in the business taking direct control for IT – now 44% of organisations have at least 10% of their IT spend outside the control of the CIO. And this is probably an underestimate, as you don’t know what you don’t know. But what is for sure is there doesn’t seem to be any let up.

Your own organisation appears to have a greater proportion of budget controlled outside IT than the average.

The oil in shadow IT’s wheels has of course been cloud computing, which has made it very easy for anyone with a credit card to run an IT system, sometimes far from the watchful eye of the CIO.

Shadow IT has traditionally been seen as a bad thing, but actually many organisations we talk to are beginning to formally integrate it into their strategies. Shadow IT can be empowering to the business, it can give the business accountability as they have to pay for it, and it can promote innovation. In fact even the word ‘shadow’ might no longer be applicable; in many ways it’s the ‘democratisation of IT’.

The challenge of course is governance. For instance, across Europe, data audit projects driven by the need for GDPR compliance have uncovered (often terrifyingly) rich, complex, and unregulated pools of data caused by shadow IT. The CIOs we talk to are getting smarter about governance and are recognising that a one size fits all approach not only doesn’t work but may hold their organisation back.

We’d love to get your feedback

We hope you are enjoying reading through your Personal Benchmark Report and that you are finding the Insights valuable. They take some effort to develop, so any feedback you can give us is very welcome.

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Section 10

Misty Digital Strategies

Our Question Was

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

Your Answer Was

Yes, enterprise-wide

Our commentary:

Last year we predicted that by just about now over half of organisations would have an enterprise wide digital strategy. Well we were wrong! Overall it has gone down from 41% to 32%.

Of course those strategies haven’t disappeared, what is happening is that organisations are continually re-assessing their approach to digital and what last year may have seemed like an enterprise wide strategy, may this year be seen more as a business unit strategy.

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

Select the drop down above to see how sectors compare.

Sectors most likely to have a digital strategy are Technology, Telecommunications and Healthcare.

Section 11

Money, money, money

Our Question Was

How does your revenue growth last compare to your competitors? Digital leaders versus others

Your Answer Was



Digital is many things to many people. And it doesn’t help that the definition seems to be continually changing.

But what is becoming increasingly clear is that digital is now in the mainstream of all businesses – not just tech giants like Amazon and Google. ‘Traditional’ organisations are successfully implementing digital components to their business.

We compared the responses of ‘digital leaders’ – those that said their digital strategy was either ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ effective – with the rest of respondents.

Digital leaders reported higher revenue growth in the last year than their competitors (select the options on the chart above to compare). In fact in manufacturing, a sector not known for digital innovation, the figure shown here goes up to 71%!

Your own response suggests that you are not a digital leader and your revenue growth was lower than competitors. Digital represents an opportunity for you and your organisation.
Section 12

All about the customer

Digital Leaders Global Average
1. Delivering innovative new products and services 1. Improving business processes
2. Delivering consistent and stable IT performance to the business 2. Delivering consistent and stable IT performance to the business
3. Delivering the customer experience 3. Increasing operational efficiencies
4. Increasing operational efficiencies 4. Saving costs
5. Improving business processes 5. Enhancing the customer experience
6. Saving costs 6. Delivering innovative new products and services
7. Improving cyber security 7. Improving cyber security
8. Delivering business intelligence/analytics 8. Delivering business intelligence/analytics
9. Improving efficiencies through automation 9. Improving efficiencies through automation
10. Driving revenue 10. Managing operational risk and compliance

Our Question Was

What are the priorities the board want IT to address?

When you look at the operational priorities for digital leaders you can see quite a difference between them and the global average.

They are more likely to be ‘developing innovative products and services’ and ‘improving their time to market’. Almost half are focused on ‘driving revenue growth’ in comparison to the global average of 38 per cent.

This focus on meeting the needs of the customer and driving revenue is a key differentiator for these leaders and appears to come at a price; they are less likely to focus on ‘improving business processes’, ‘saving costs’ and ‘increasing operational efficiencies’.

We can tell from the Survey that digital leaders do 3 things very well. (1) They focus on the customer (2) Their employees live and breathe their digital strategy (3) IT acts as an enabler, rather than enforcer, giving the business the 'oxygen to breath'.

Section 13

Cyber crime

Our Question Was

Has your organisation been subject to any major IT security or cyber attacks in the last two years?

Your Answer Was



If you are responsible for cyber security and you work in Education you have had a busy year. IT leaders in this sector feel most exposed, possibly due to their extended, highly educated and less governable user population of students.

But that’s not to say other sectors have had an easy time.

You have indicated that your organisations is one of the lucky ones, as like two-thirds of your peers you have not been attacked.

Cyber-crime remains firmly on the agenda of CIOs, but thankfully, the majority of our respondents (68 per cent) report that their boards are supporting them in their cyber security strategies. The Survey also hints that the volume of cyber-attacks is levelling out, but we will need to see next year’s data to see if this is a real trend.

Section 14

Salary against budget

Our Question Was

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

Your Answer Was


Less than $74,999

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, Leisure and Professional Services CIOs at the top, and Charity, local / state Government, Education and – perhaps surprisingly – Pharmaceutical towards the bottom).

Section 15

Job satisfaction

Our Question Was

How fulfilling is your current role?

Your Answer Was

Quite fulfilling

Being a CIO remains a highly fulfilling job, but it came as a surprise when this year’s survey revealed job fulfilment has taken a dip, and this is despite almost half of IT leaders getting (presumably pleasing) salary rises.

Our commentary:

You own response puts you in the most commonly chosen category of ‘quite fulfilled’. You enjoy your job mostly, but there are areas where things can improve. One third of IT leaders are happier than you, but 22% less so!

The challenge for many CIOs is one they will be all too familiar with in their day job – scope creep. There has been an explosion in activities such as data management, digital transformation and shadow IT that may, or may not, be under the CIO’s remit. And some CIOs report frustration that responsibilities are blurred or, worse, presumed without consent.

But for many this is proving to be a unique opportunity. Successful CIOs are swapping control for influence and finding new ways to navigate through an uncertain environment. Many are taking an active role in embracing shadow IT, leading it out into the ‘light’ of active governance and support.

Whilst no other executive role is undergoing so much change as the Chief Information Officer, no other executive role has the opportunity to be truly transformational, both for the organisation, and for the person occupying it.

We’d love to get your feedback

We hope you take part in next year’s CIO Survey, but in the mean time we’d love to get your feedback on this Personal Benchmark Report. They take some effort to develop, so your views are very welcome.

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