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A Mad ScientistIT is quickly moving from a "utility" role into a business "innovation" role.  That's how the annual worldwide survey of CIOs by IT recruiting firm Harvey Nash reads, mirroring what the tech trade press and pundits have been talking about lately. Now that the recession is abating and budgets are increasing, IT leaders are finding themselves with more responsibility and influence. Meanwhile, the focus on cost-cutting and operational efficiency has shifted back to innovation. What Harvey Nash calls "the Innovation CIO" -- who is 29 percent more likely to use innovation instead of cost savings as a competitive advantage-- has re-emerged. Some highlights:
  • 89 percent of respondents are concerned about keeping their best and brightest performers. Thirty five percent express "great concern" that competitors will try to poach key talent in the next two months.
  • 74 percent believe that if they don't innovate and embrace new technology, their company will lose market share. Only 34 percent think they've achieved anything close to their innovation potential.
  • 28 percent will spend up to a quarter of their budget on outsourced activity this year. More than one in 10 will devote more than 50 percent to outsourcing.
  • 50 percent now sit on the operational board or executive management team of their organizations, up from 42 percent percent last year. Sixty nine percent report having more strategic responsibility, which marks the first time that figure has ever passed the two thirds mark.
Learn more about the findings by downloading the entire report. Photo: Neil's News