Economic relief is in the air. When Cisco executive John Chambers is in a "sunny" mood and describes revenue growth as “dramatic,” you know that positive signs will shortly be all around. Forecasts of positive IT spending abound, including Forrester’s Q4 signal and 2010 perspective.
This caught my eye recently in a CIO-focused publication. Titled “Ten Ways To Re-energize Your IT Workforce”, it is advice from a workforce motivation expert: “Jon Gordon, a consultant for the NFL and numerous Fortune 500 enterprises, and the author of ‘The Shark and the Goldfish: Positive Ways to Thrive During Waves of Change.’ He offers ten recommendations for reenergizing and engaging employees in the face of economic turmoil.”
This past summer, Forrester conducted a series of in-depth interviews of CIOs (as well as some directors of IT planning and finance) to get a better understanding of their roles: how they see the role in the context of their organizations, how they are evaluated by senior management, their key success imperatives, and their information needs. We sat down with each of them for an hour to help shape how we support the most senior executives within IT.
Maybe it’s because it’s planning season. Maybe it’s because they’re just tired of focusing on cost-cutting and incremental improvements. Or maybe the IT to Business Technology (BT) shift – where the boundary between IT and the business is blurred as businesses become ever more technology dependent and technologically savvy – is becoming a reality and pushing CIOs to stay even further ahead of their business counterparts.
Recently, Forrester surveyed a number of CIOs to collect benchmark data on staffing ratios and spending. This is a new initiative within Forrester and one that is not yet complete. We did this for three reasons:
Benchmark questions (called inquiries at Forrester) on staffing have become relatively common. Examples are “Can you tell us the average share of IT Staff as a % of total staff by organization size” and “Would you have specific spending figures for IT infrastructure?”.
This kind of data in conjunction with other data and analysis can identify problem areas.
Staffing benchmark data along with spending and other data are objective measures of IT organizations.
Though our initial sample size is small a preliminary view of the data shows that: