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Bigger budgets granted to female CIOs this year

Female CIOs also slightly more confident about digital opportunities, Gartner survey shows

The results showed that 8.9% of female CIOs have a chief digital officer (CDO) present in the organisation
The results showed that 8.9% of female CIOs have a chief digital officer (CDO) present in the organisation

Female CIOs have reported a budget increase of 2.5% for 2014, compared to the 0.2% increase reported by their male counterparts, according to a recent survey by Gartner.

The worldwide survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2013, and included 2,339 CIOs with a collective budget of more than $300 billion, Gartner said. Among the respondents, 13.2% were women.

As well as showing that female CIOs expect bigger budget increases in 2014, female respondents to the survey showed slightly more confidence about their enterprises’ ability to deal with digital opportunities. The survey found that 49% of female CIOs are concerned that the digital torrent is coming faster than they cope with, compared to 51% of male CIOs.

Indeed, the results showed that 8.9% of female CIOs have a chief digital officer (CDO) present in the organisation, compared to just 6% of male CIOs. Additionally, 25% of CDOs were women, according to the survey.

“The female CIOs surveyed showed a significantly greater budget increase in their organisation than their male counterparts, while reporting that slightly less of the IT budget is in IT,” said Tina Nunno, vice president and Gartner fellow.

“This overall increase in budget may be correlated with subsequent data that shows a slightly higher incidence of chief digital officers (CDOs) in enterprises where female CIOs are present and may account for the increase in budget overall, with a slightly larger percentage of female CIOs' IT budgets being outside of the IT department.”

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Despite highlighting the differences between male and female CIOs, however, Gartner insisted that the technology priorities of female and male CIOs are more similar than different. The top three priorities for both genders were business intelligence and analytics, infrastructure and data centres, and mobile.

Cloud ranked slightly higher for women than it did for men, who placed ERP systems in fourth position and cloud in fifth, Gartner said. The remainder of the top 10 technologies were identical for both genders.

Nunno said that it was encouraging to see male and female CIOs sharing so many similarities.

“They share similar reporting lines, priorities and technical challenges in the enterprise. This is good news, and boards and CEOs should have confidence that gender is simply not an issue relative to strategic focus,” she said.

“Indeed, few variations in gender data show that women are embracing some digital trends in the same way as their male counterparts and, in some cases, even more so.”

That said, Nunno decried the lack of growth that Gartner has seen in the number of female CIOs over the past decade. She said that the percentage of female CIOs has remained largely static since 2004, and that it was “disappointing” not to have seen a significant growth in that percentage.

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