UK CIOs ‘Less Successful’ than Counterparts in Other Countries

Emerging insights from a global study being conducted by Booz & Company has found that UK CIOs may be less successful than their counterparts in other countries because they are less likely to report directly to the CEO of the company.

The study also reveals that UK IT workers are the most negative about their departments - reporting poor translation of decisions into action, frequent second guessing of decisions, and a lack of successful reaction to change. Around 50% of the IT organisations surveyed have been diagnosed as ‘unhealthy’, indicating that the organisation’s key characteristics are dysfunctional.

The global survey, which is still in progress, seeks to understand what differentiates successful IT organisations from their competitors. It uses Booz & Company’s OrgDNA Profiler® to diagnose the health of companies. Since its launch in October 2007, the IT OrgDNA survey has been undertaken by more than 1,500 participants, widely distributed across a range of industries. The majority of respondents are in management positions, typically senior or middle management, and many have been in their positions for more than six years, indicating they are well placed to judge the health of their IT organisations.

Booz & Company’s analysis has revealed a number of links between the health of IT organisations and attributes of their CIO:

  • CIOs that have better visibility—such as being closer to the CEO—tend to have healthier IT organisations
  • CIOs whose style has identified them as “utility managers” are less likely to preside over healthy IT organisations than those who improve business processes or innovate
  • Centralised IT organisations were found to be healthier than other structures

Hugo Trepant, Vice President at Booz & Company in London, commented: “Our study to date has found that while national, industry and respondent characteristics seem to influence the evaluation of IT organisations, there also appear to be some controllable factors which may drive organisational health, and there are things that a CIO can do to improve the health of their department.”

The Org DNA IT survey can be found at