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The Institute’s key research themes
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the UK’s productivity problems.


The challenge of strategic decision making: The Case of Chief Information Officers

The increasing complexity of the IT environment, characterised by the constant emergence of new technologies, potential disruption, industry exaggeration and uncertainty, has led to intense competitive pressures to which companies must adapt and respond accordingly. In recent decades, therefore, Chief Information Officers (CIO) have emerged as the C-suite agent designated to guide organisations in the ever-complex IT landscape, thus making these technology leaders one of the most pertinent players on executive teams.

CIOs are not only expected to be aware of the digital and IT opportunities available in the landscape, but they are also under intense expectations to make optimal strategic IT decisions (e.g. IT strategy development, IT procurement)that contribute to the business goals. Accordingly, CIOs must possess a combination of strong technical knowledge, constant awareness of external IT opportunities, and a rich understanding of their business strategy in order to optimise the productivity of the business through technology.

The aim of this interview study is to contribute to a better understanding of the way CIOs navigate and make complex decisions regarding investments and the adoption of digital technologies. Specifically, the study aims to answer whether and how productivity considerations inform CIO planning and strategy development, and how CIOs make decisions about investments and activities related to digital innovation and adoption.

Lead researcher Dr Nina Jörden, Bennett Institute for Public Policy, University of Cambridge