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."

Several of these titles are CEO equivalents, and therefore the budget increase is consistent with the CEO numbers.


Nunno reports that the top five technology priorities identified by the survey are 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.

“For good or bad, women and men view the top priorities virtually identically,” Nunno adds.

“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.”

When questioned more closely about technology leadership, the survey data indicates that female CIOs are more in agreement that analytics are increasing in importance for their organisations.

Thirty-two percent of women CIOs agree that there is a shift from backward-looking reporting to forward-looking analytics, and this compared to 22 percent for male CIOs.

Nunno says this difference becomes more extreme when the CIO reports to the CEO, when the percentages become 42 per cent and 23 per cent for female and male CIOs, respectively. Predictive data is foundational to strategic outlooks and discussions, and therefore a high priority for many CEOs.

To a larger extent than male CIOs, female CIOs also agree strongly that new types of information such as social information and multimedia are increasing in importance (19 percent vs. 13 percent), and again this difference is enhanced when reporting to the CEO (23 percent vs. 14 percent).

Such variations in gender responses may relate back to differences in how women and men view enterprise risk and the role of information in managing those risks.

Reporting structure had little impact on the top priorities by gender. One exception was digitalisation/digital marketing - an important priority for many revenue-focused CEOs - which moved up to third priority when female CIOs reported to the CEO, but remained at sixth priority for male CIOs.

When female CIOs reported to CFOs, who tend to be more internally cost-focused, the priority dropped to seventh, while it remained the same for male CIOs - this is one of several instances where the survey data demonstrated that female CIOs are more adaptable to their reporting structure than their male counterparts.

The survey also found female CIOs were slightly more likely to say that they needed to change their leadership style in the next three years than were male CIOs (79 percent vs. 74 percent).

However, the remaining data shows little notable statistical variation, indicating that male and female CIOs spend their leadership time similarly and see the need for leadership change almost identically.

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