Published: April 11th, 2014

Close to  half of chief information officers (CIOs) and senior information technology (IT) leaders in Canadian companies are aspiring for the move away from managing computer system to running the whole business, according to a recent survey commissioned by Cogeco Data Services.

In a poll of 143 C-level executives and 352 middle grade managers who are decision makers in the IT departments of small to large enterprise companies Angus Reid Forum found that 46 per cent of senior level IT professionals are eyeing the CEO post of their current company or that of another organization. As many as 82 per cent of the respondents also believe their IT leadership experience positions them well for taking on the CEO role.

“These findings clearly illustrate that business evolving and the capabilities and knowledge required to lead successful companies in the current market place are changing,” said Tony Ciciretto, CEO of Gogeco. “ICT (information and communication technology) has become an essential part of creating a competitive advantage and more and more senior IT professionals are breaking down the silos and stepping up to task.”

He said such developments are positioning IT executives in a “leading role” in influencing the strategy of their respective companies.

Perceptions around the changing role of the CIO can be seen in businesses across Canada.

The survey showed that close to two-thirds (61 per cent) of senior-level IT professionals feel that over the past three to five years, their job has evolved to include more leadership responsibility.

Sixty per cent of senior IT leaders also revealed that they are now providing more strategic input for line of business operations. As many as 46 per cent feel the IT department is now being viewed as a profit driver rather than a “cost centre.”