CIOs gaining power worldwide, but IT leadership diversity an Irish issue – report

23 May 2016

More than one-third of CIOs now report directly to the CEO, the highest number in a decade, while the dominance of male employees in leading IT roles in Ireland is growing, according to a new report.

A direct line to the CEO, that’s often what businesspeople want. Now, it seems, CIOs have just that, with a major new international report finding that more than one-third have direct access to the company head.

In Ireland, IT budgets are on the up, too, according to the Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO survey, which looked at 82 countries and thousands of CIOs.

Internationally, there’s a growing trend of focusing on money-making IT ventures rather than money-saving projects, with the CIO role “being stretched in many directions”, according to Harvey Nash MD Sonya Curley.

However, the report shows a worrying decline in the number of women working in leading IT roles.

Dropping to just 8pc in Ireland over the past 12 months – while the global average rises to 11pc – not enough women are being appointed to senior IT roles.

“Businesses have a long way to go in the pursuit of equal representation of gender in IT, but the response from this year’s survey is a hopeful indicator of further progress in future,” said Curley of the international upswing, with the rise expected to continue.

Although, that would make further falls in Ireland all the more remarkable.

Other findings in the report include a significant rise in major security incidents in Ireland, with brand protection one of the primary concerns.

Last week, Harvey Nash announced plans to hire 100 staff across its Dublin and Cork offices over the next two years in response to demand from tech start-ups, amid competition from other major hubs.

40 of the newly-created roles will be directly with Harvey Nash Ireland, in the areas of recruitment and support services.

The remaining 60 positions will be spread across a number of the sectors it caters for, including life sciences, technology, finance and banking.

Business meeting image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic