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Female CIOs expect bigger budget increases: Gartner

Female CIOs expect budget increase of 2.4% this year, while male counterparts expect just 0.8% increase

Female CIOs expect bigger budget increases: Gartner
Gartner said that it was unclear why this difference exists

Female CIOs expect to increase their budgets by 2.4% in 2015, while their male counterparts report average increases of just 0.8%, according to a recent survey from Gartner.

The worldwide survey included responses from 2,810 CIOs, representing more than $397 billion in CIO IT budgets in 84 countries. Among the respondents to the 2015 Gartner CIO Agenda survey, 13.6% were women, Garter said.  

"For a second year in a row, the women in our survey are expecting greater budget increases than the men," said Tina Nunno, vice president and Gartner Fellow.

"While it's not entirely clear why this difference exists, further survey data indicates that female CIOs are more concerned about underinvestment in risk initiatives than male CIOs. The risk data, combined with budget numbers, may indicate that female CIOs are more focused on the resource side of the digital equation than their male peers and are, therefore, requesting and accumulating more IT budget money." 

The survey findings underline the fact that a significant majority of CIOs of both genders believe that the digital world is creating new and additional risks in their environment, Gartner said However, the research house pointed out that female CIOs are significantly more likely to express concern that investments in risk management and risk management practices are not keeping up with new and higher levels of risk in a more digital world — 76%of female CIOs as opposed to 67%of males.

Meanwhile, female CIOs were also slightly more likely to agree that the digital world is creating new and different types of risk and that agility will be important in dealing with these risks. While the data may indicate that women are more concerned about digital risks, it may also indicate that female CIOs are somewhat more risk-aware than their male counterparts, Gartner said.

According to the data, the reporting structure impacts the budgets of male CIOs more significantly and adversely than female CIOs. When male CIOs report to the CEO, they report a significant budget increase (2.8%), but their budgets remain essentially flat in all other reporting relationships with the exception of the COO reporting, where a slight negative budget trend appears, Gartner said.

Female CIOs, however, expect to receive budget increases regardless of reporting line, and most significantly when reporting to the CFO (3.2%) and in the "other" category at 4.2%.

The top five technology priorities identified by the survey were the same for male and female CIOs — with minor variations in order — reflecting a shared focus on analytics, infrastructure and data centre, cloud, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and mobile technologies, Gartner said.  

"For good or bad, women and men view the top priorities virtually identically," said Nunno.

"Variations in top priorities by gender in past CIO surveys could often be attributed to significant differences in the industries where male and female CIOs worked. However, more recent data shows little difference in the gender dispersion of CIOs across industries, which may account for the consistency in prioritisation." 

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