Gartner Research

Identifying CEO Expectations and Executing Against Them

Published: 01 August 2009

ID: G00170607

Analyst(s): Dave Aron , Colleen Young


Research reveals a significant gap between CEO and CIO strategic priorities. CIOs can apply specific tenets and behaviors to bridge this gap, thereby strengthening IT performance, helping achieve enterprise goals and contributing to CEO/CIO success.

Table Of Contents
  • Overview


Executive summary

  • CEOs and CIOs view enterprise priorities differently
  • Business focus and consistent execution close the gap
  • CEOs create enterprise leadership opportunities for trusted CIOs

CEOs and CIOs view enterprise priorities differently

  • Analysis of the 2009 Gartner CIO Survey data
  • Tool: Identify and assess gaps in CEO and CIO priorities

Business focus and consistent execution close the gap

  • CEOs accept CIOs when BU leaders endorse CIOs as peers
  • Case Study: Martin County, Florida—Relationships are critical to effective IT delivery
  • CEOs focus on growing the business and fulfilling its mission, and they expect the same from their business leaders
  • Case Study: Commerce Bancshares—Communications, not just talking, align CEO and CIO expectations
  • Governance supports, and cannot replace, BU stakeholder management

CEOs create enterprise leadership opportunities for trusted CIOs

  • CIOs face barriers to entry in achieving a trusted-ally relationship with the CEO
  • Case Study: Allergan—Changing the CEO’s view from questioning investments to promoting IT externally
  • Trusted-ally CIOs take on additional leadership roles
  • CIOs at the trusted-ally relationship level proactively facilitate the CEO’s personal success
  • CIOs who facilitate CEO success enhance enterprise performance
  • Case Study: ICW Group—If you want a “C” in your title, focus on the business
  • Tool: Understanding CEO motivations, constraints and accountabilities
  • Conclusion

Appendix: Case Studies

  • Global HiTechCo—If you do your job, the rest happens naturally
  • NHS Blood and Transplant—From director of IT to director of business transformation
  • Sappi—Recognizing that business comes first and that relationships are critical for CIO success

Further Reading

  • Gartner Executive Programs reports
  • Core research
  • Book

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