Who's spending the most IT cash? Male or female decision makers?

“For a second year in a row, the women are expecting greater budget increases than the men."

Female CIOs expect to increase their budgets by 2.4 percent in 2015, whereas male CIOs report average increases of just 0.8 percent, according to a survey by Gartner.

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

“For a second year in a row, the women in our survey are expecting greater budget increases than the men,” says 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.

However, 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 percent of female CIOs as opposed to 67 percent of males.

Nunno says 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.

According to the data, 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 percent), 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.

As a result, Nunno reports that female CIOs expect to receive budget increases regardless of reporting line, and most significantly when reporting to the CFO (3.2 percent) and in the "other" category at 4.2 percent.

According to the survey, the most common titles included in the "other" category included CIO/enterprise CIO (denoting that the survey respondent was a business unit CIO reporting to the enterprise CIO), director/executive director, vice president, general manager and chief administrative officer (CAO) in that order of frequency.

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