Despite the progress made by many CIOs, 70% of IT organizations (ITOs) today are still considered cost centers rather than partners in the business, according to META Group, Inc. To provide value, CIOs must offer services that deliver the expected results, along with competency, resource agility, cost-effectiveness, risk mitigation, and intimacy, according to findings from the new CIO Desk Reference, a unique report designed to address the issues most important to CIOs. The CIO Desk Reference, in its 3rd Edition, provides the guidance IT executives need to develop leadership skills (the quality most sorely lacking in most IT organizations) and to foster value within the organization.

“Beyond constant technological change, today’s CIOs must also deal with underlying economic factors — by current business conditions, global uncertainty, a hardware glut, and vendor consolidation — that have altered the technology landscape,” said Louis Boyle, senior vice president with META Group’s Executive Directions. “IT executives who wish to compete in the long run will need to understand these factors and transform them into business differentiators.”

Leaders are the most important asset within any ITO striving to optimize their impact on the business. Motivated by a core set of values centered on trust, teamwork, and truth, these leaders drive the ITO to excel, as well as its partners and suppliers. According to the report, the highest-performing ITOs have breadth and depth in leadership.

This report breaks down the critical planning issues — including enterprise architecture, governance, and relationship management — that must be mastered along the way. As the ITO’s role moves beyond efficiency to business effectiveness, CIOs will have four primary objectives: 1) inculcating value management into IT culture; 2) using IT portfolio management as a communications and investment vehicle; 3) developing human capital management processes that increase IT employee productivity; and 4) ensuring that core IT processes are singular, understood, consistent, and scalable.

About the Report

The 3rd Edition of the CIO Desk Reference provides best practices in the areas of leadership, portfolio management, value management, human capital management, and process improvement. The CIO Desk Reference is based on the extensive research of META Group’s Executive Directions advisory service, including its renowned CIO Boot Camps, which annually attract more than 500 CIOs from industry-leading organizations throughout the world. This latest edition focuses on the CIO as a leader first and a process master second. For more information, please call (800) 498-META [6382] or visit