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The role of the chief information officer (CIO) has traditionally been centered around technology efficiency. But over the last five years it has transformed into security (70%), cost-effective spending (57%) and innovation (52%), according to IT hardware firm Insight UK.

The survey findings also show the growing importance of IT within organisations, with 8 in 10 (79%) business decision makers saying their company plan to invest more in tech over the next year.

A direct effect of the increasing use and understanding from the wider management team of technology, this means that the CIO now needs to demonstrate the impact of IT on the bottom line.

This might not be an easy task for the traditional CIO who, according to the findings, needs to evolve to maintain their role in the decision making process. The results show that nearly a quarter (22%) of senior directors believe the majority of the technology budget should sit with the board. Meanwhile over half (55%) questioned the CIO’s role below the rest of the senior management team and 44% feel the CIO is less important than they were two years ago.

Mike Guggemos, Global CIO, Insight, said: “There is a real need for organisations, particularly the leadership teams, to ensure they are united. The study gives a clear message to the CIO to act now and educate the wider business, or risk losing your role in the boardroom.

“CIOs play a vital role in the organisation, driving forward an era where businesses approach technology in a profound new way. Although this was reflected in the statistics, they are failing to showcase their value to the boardroom. Those who learn this language will continue to succeed – and play a vital role in the organisations of tomorrow.”

Further differences come to light when discussing the strategic importance of the CIO’s role. The findings suggest that most business decision makers think their CIOs are focused on executional elements of the job, such as managing the IT budget and workflow, implementing large IT projects and ensuring IT equipment is secured against threats. The only areas, according to the research, where most C-suite directors think CIOs have taken on more responsibility over the past five years is in implementing large IT projects and securing equipment against threats.