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The rising budgets and influence of Australian CIOs

Key survey findings:
  • 49% of CIOs say their budgets have increased since last year and 42% state they have remained the same
  • 73% of CIOs stated that they are making decisions that impact the overall company strategy
  • Budget/Costs and security were considered the top two concerns by CIOs
  • On average, 34% of a CIO’s time is spent on operations, and 25% spent on strategy
  • 41% of CIOs believe the technology job market will improve or significantly improve in the next 12 months, with 45% believing it will remain stable
  • 47% of Australian CIOs expect to increase headcount over the next 12 months, while 41% expect headcount will remain the same
Source: 2015 Michael Page Australia CIO Viewpoint
Australia, Friday 18, December 2015 – Chief Information Officers (CIOs) across Australia are being given bigger budgets and increasing levels of influence in their companies according to results from the 2015 Michael Page Australia CIO Viewpoint report.
Findings in the report indicate that budget approvals from CEOS and CFOs have increased, more so than at any time since 2008 and this uplift is being driven by businesses focusing on digitalisation and transformation and the critical role IT infrastructure will play in moving these businesses forward.
49% of CIOs surveyed in the report say their budgets have increased since last year, with a further 42% stating that their budgets have remained the same. Niall O’Rourke, Director, Michael Page Technology says, “new budget resources are being allocated to fund increased headcount and the need for more advanced skillsets, which attract premium salaries. Much of the hiring is for fixed-term contract roles, where individuals with specialist skills can assist with the implementation phase of projects.”
Along with increasing budgets, the report suggests Australia’s IT leaders are becoming more influential within their companies than at any time in the past five years. 73% of CIOs stated that they are making company-wide decisions and O’Rourke says “this is directly related to the fundamental role that IT plays in supporting business functions. The number of business solutions lead roles have increased, helping companies improve current processes and drive efficiencies and alignment.”
“CIOs are exerting their influence over decisions related to operations, strategic direction, talent and resource planning and innovation, which almost always need technical support to make an impact. Additionally, the role of CIO is no longer just about improving technology, it has become pivotal in determining how revenue can be increased or how the overall operational performance of a business can be improved.”
The report also provides interesting insight into the top challenges or concerns for CIOs as 2015 draws to a close and what their focus areas will be into 2016. Budgets/Costs and security were given as the top two areas of concern currently faced by senior IT professionals, while cyber security ranked as the top priority for the year ahead. Given that the Australian government has just announced plans to establish the Cyber Security Growth Centre - an industry-lead body to create business opportunities for cyber security agencies - we can see just how important this area will be in the near future.
The 2015 Michael Page Australia CIO Viewpoint is a report based on the qualitative survey findings of leading Chief Information Officers (CIOs) working across a range of industry sectors. The report provides a snapshot of the key focus areas for Australian CIOs over the coming year, where their priorities lie and what the outlook is for the rapidly evolving technology sector. The report can be viewed in full here.