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CIOs not considered for board-level roles

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, January 6, 2012
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According to a recent Microsoft India survey, only 46 percent of the C-level executives surveyed believe organisations in India are either ready or somewhat ready for CIO leadership. The corresponding numbers for chief financial officers (CFOs) and chief operating officers (COOs) were 99 percent and 95 percent respectively, reports Writankar Mukherjee from the Economic Times.

"The maturity of an Indian CIO is heterogeneous," says Punit Modhgil, Marketing Head (enterprise and public sector) at Microsoft India. "Our survey shows only the top 100 Indian companies have defined a specific role for the CIO. This is because the role of a CIO is relatively new in India, may be just 10-15 years old compared to the West where it has been in existence for the past 25 years," said Modhgil.

As compared to other C-level executives for board-level roles in Indian firms, the Chief information officers (CIOs) or executives who head the information technology function, are seen to be at a disadvantage. Among top executives, finance heads are most sceptical about the readiness of CIOs to join the board - only 12 percent of CFOs believe CIOs are boardready. By comparison, nearly 50 percent of the HR heads and 23 percent of the CEOs surveyed feel that CIOs are ready to join the board.

Microsoft had surveyed some 200 leading companies in India for the study. Recently, there were only a clutch of Indian CIOs who moved into leadership slots.

However, the Microsoft survey indicated that the Indian CIOs were found to be short on three critical attributes of senior leadership talent - insights into a company's business, ability to influence peers and manage change and lead business transformation.

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