Why CIOs will screw things up in 2014

More evidence is appearing that supports the theme that CIOs are madly out of sync with business needs (see IT leaders are out of sync with the enterprise’s new prioritities).

Shvetank Shah of CEB confirmed that 70% or more of IT experimentation in the business is done outside of IT, and they try to cast aspersion on this by calling it shadow IT. The reason that more business leaders don’t pull in CIOs to their experiments? The IT teams have the wrong mindset, and instead of working with business leaders, they seek to preempt all experimentation by others.

And Shah zooms in on the worst problem, that of so-called ‘collaboration’, otherwise called social business or work management tools. 10% of IT project budgets in 2014 will be allocated to work management, but that’s woefully inadequate considering how essential these tools are in a connected world, and how poor the state of affairs are at most companies. Companies have settled for inadequate tools, and imperfect social scaling. Perhaps worst of all, Shah say, very few employees are good at coworking:

More worryingly, only 20% of employees are effective at collaboration, so even if the tools met expectations, companies would still fall short of their collaboration goals. That’s why leading companies’ collaboration strategies focus on employee skills and behaviors, not just technologies.

And why are IT leaders not stepping up to the mark and doing more? Perhaps it’s because IT staff are the least engaged workers at most companies, says Shah:

Twenty percent do not perceive significant opportunity for career progression at their organization, and 30% of CIOs would change members of their leadership team if given the opportunity.

If they can’t get their own house in order how can they possibly get up to speed and solve a problem that is blocking the enterprise as a whole?

I rest my case.