Women CIOs Expect Larger Budget Increase This Year than Their Male Counterparts - Gartner

Bangalore: According to a survey by Gartner, Inc., female CIOs are expecting to increase their budget by 2.4 percent whereas male CIOs report an average increase of only 0.8 percent. This worldwide survey witnessed a participation of 2,810 CIOs representing more than $397 billion in CIO IT budgets across 84 countries, amongst which 13.6 percent of participants were women.
 
Founded in 1979, Gartner, Inc. is the world’s leading IT research and advisory company. It provides the tech-related insights necessary for its clients to make the right decisions. From CIOs and senior leaders in corporate and government companies to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises, Gartner is the trusted partner to the clients across 10,000 distinct companies worldwide. It has 6,800 associates, including more than 1,500 research analysts and consultants, and clients in 90 countries. The latest research aims to throw light on the behaviors and decisions facing CIOs in a diverse range of industries and geographies worldwide.

The data derived from the survey suggests that reporting system impacts the budgets of male CIOs more significantly and adversely than female CIOs. Female CIOs expect to receive their budget increases regardless of reporting line, and more significantly to the CFO (3.2 percent) and in the ‘others’ category at 4.2 percent. The most common titles included in the others category were CIO/enterprise CIO, director/executive director, vice president, general manager and CAO in that order of frequency.
 
"For the second year in a row, the women in our survey are expecting greater budget increases than the men. While it's not entirely clear why this difference exists, further survey data indicates that female CIOs are more concerned about underinvestment in risk initiatives than male CIOs. The risk data, combined with budget numbers, may indicate that female CIOs are more focused on the resource side of the digital equation than their male peers and are, therefore, requesting and accumulating more IT budget money," Proclaims Tina Nunno, Vice President, Gartner.
 
However, reporting system had less effect on top-priorities by gender. One exception was digital marketing – an important priority for many revenue-focused CEOs. It moved to third priority when female CIOs reported to the CEO, but remained as the sixth priority when male CIOs reported to the CEO. Interestingly, when the female CIOs reported to CFOs, who are more internally cost focused, the priority dropped to seventh while it remained the same in case of male CIOs.
 
The findings from the survey stressed on the fact that a significant majority of of both male and female CIOs supported the fact that new and advanced risks through the digital world are threatening their environment. However, female CIOs were significantly more likely to express their concern that the investments in risk management practices are not effective against the new and high levels of risk in a digitalized world. While women are more concerned about the digital risks, the research also revealed that they are more risk-aware than the male CIOs.

The top five technology priorities identified by the survey reflected a shared focus on analytics, infrastructure and data center, cloud, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and mobile technologies. 32 percent of women CIOs agreed that there is a shift from backward-looking reporting to forward-looking analytics. The difference becomes more extreme when the CIO reports to the CEO, when the percentages become 42 percent and 23 percent for female and male CIOs, respectively.

The results of the survey show that female CIOs were in a need to change their leadership style in the next three years than male CIOs (79 percent against 74 percent). However, the remaining data shows less significant statistical variation, indicating that male and female CIOs spend their leadership time similarly.

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