As you toil away in the IT data center, do you ever wonder what your boss is most worried about, or what the plans for the future of the department may be? And what about your boss's boss? What's the CIO thinking?

IBM sets out to get into the CIO's head with its annual study, available here, if you're willing to provide a little information about yourself. As the company says:

IBM interviewed over 2,500 CIOs from more than 75 countries and 15 different industries. The analysis of these one-hour face-to-face conversations led to unique insights on how CIOs operate in today's dynamic environment as well as their plans for the future.

While such information may not clearly indicate whether or not you're going to get fired next year, this kind of macroscopic, international summary of the IT ruling class's state-of-mind is well worth a read, if only as a leading indicator of where trends will be going in 2010; therefore, where the best jobs and career growth paths may be.

For IBM, of course, this exercise is a good way to figure out which products to pitch hardest next year. For the rest of us, it's a chance to take stock of where this huge industry is headed.

-- Don Willmott