ITWC CIO Jim Love

Published: October 3rd, 2016

TORONTO –   The issues of data security and privacy were revealed as the top concerns facing senior IT professionals as ITWC CIO Jim Love reviewed details of the newly released 2016 CanadianCIO Census during a workshop prior to  CDN’s Channel Elite Awards.

The annual  study examines the changing role of the Canadian CIO from their influence in the C-suite to their investment priorities over the next 12 months. The report, along with comparative reports from the US and the UK,  were sponsored by Cogeco Peer 1.

Data security and privacy are  huge concerns to enterprise, explained Love. Fifty-six per cent of respondent identified security as their greatest worry , followed by disaster recovery at 44 per cent and big data and analytics at 34 per cent. This finding matches the results found in day-to-day priorities, with data security and privacy averaging out to 7.96 out of 10, and uptime/reliability at 7.74 out of 10, far ahead of other daily priorities. Similar to last year’s results, data security and privacy continue to be a top concern as the census revealed that large organizations seem to be less concerned about staffing and more concerned about physical security, mobile app development, and dealing with shadow projects.

While security is the immediate concern for IT professionals, further results indicate how important big data and analytics is to the future of the enterprise. Just over 15 per cent of respondents answered that big data/analytics will have the most significant impact on their business in the next five years, followed closely by the cloud at 14.97 per cent and digital transformation at 12.3. Security was the answer of just eight per cent of respondents.

Despite the growing importance and focus on big data and analytics, only 40 per cent of those surveyed believe that their investments have met or exceeded expectations, while 23 per cent believed they have fallen below expectations, and 37 per cent replied that they either don’t know or that it is too early to tell. With so much of a growing focus on big data and analytics, this comes at quite a surprise that only 40 per cent of senior IT professionals believe they are meeting their expectations in that area of business. Love looks at that 37 per cent when speculating that this may come from companies who are being overwhelmed by so much data, and not having any way to deal with it.

Further findings indicate the hiring habits in the next 12 months as described by these senior IT professionals. Love said 44 per cent of all companies are planning on keeping their IT headcount stable, 26 per cent are in a hiring freeze, 20 per cent are decreasing IT, and eight per cent are planning on downsizing. Despite the fact that many respondents felt that big data/analytics investments did not meet their expectations, 22 per cent of respondents still plan on hiring IT professionals in that department.

Conducted annually, the CanadianCIO Census surveys senior IT professionals and other executive-level management in order to find out more about IT professionals’ day-to-day challenges and how they are fulfilling their mandates. This year, 187 IT professionals were surveyed, 98 per cent of which were involved in or had influence over their organization’s technology-related purchase decisions. The survey contained 33 questions, and 159 responses were recorded.

The 2016 CIO Census is available for download.