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The Details of the 2016 Annual CIO Survey

The Details of the 2016 Annual CIO Survey

The Surprise finding: Massive Workload Continues.

The good news: Role is becoming more Strategic.


A whopping 48% of CIOs are concerned about being able to keep pace with change of the role.

Highlights Published as “From the Situation Room to the Board Room” in Healthcare Informatics 2015


CIOs Greater Strategic Focus


In 2013 SSi-SEARCH conducted and published the results of the first Annual CIO Survey under the header “Healthcare’s Million Dollar Man.” Not everyone was pleased by this title because, after all, 18% of surveyed CIOs were women. More details on gender were gathered in subsequent surveys.

In this third survey, we look more closely at how greater strategic alignment might be achieved and, also, what drives the CIO.

In response to the question “What do you believe would facilitate greater strategic involvement?” 50% answered “Executive exposure.” As follow-up to that, we asked “are you actively engaged in discussions with the key executives to determine what technologies can be used to help the organization achieve its strategic priorities?” and 51% responded “Yes, highly engaged” and 38% responded “Routinely engaged." We also specifically asked, are there strategic initiatives that CIOs believed they should be involved, but were not. The top three answers were:

  • Population Health 39%
  • Analytics Initiatives 29%
  • Consumer Projects 15%
Issues: Echoing last year’s responses, we hear again that the greatest challenges to accomplishing objectives are “Budget” and “Shortage of Qualified People.” We also get a clear sense of frustration with shifting and competing priorities, lack of governance and turbulence in general as being real challenges to accomplishing objectives.

CIOs are very focused on the greater mission of a health system. What they would most like to be recognized for are innovation and improving patient safety. They also see themselves facilitators of improved collaboration between departments to achieve a common goal. It is a natural role for an effective CIO to use his reach to shorten the distance between departments or initiatives that previously had been operating separately from each other, whether by necessity or choice. There is a clear bridge-builder component to well-planned and implemented technology.

68% of CIOs feel their accomplishments have been critically important to the strategic mission of the organization, with another 30% saying it was very important. In terms of being recognized for what CIOs clearly feel are important contributions, 40% say they have been recognized for them. A fifth (22%) say they have not, while the reminder (37%) respond optimistically with a “We’ll See.”

CIOs are satisfied in their role: Looking ahead at their next role or challenge it becomes clear that CIOs are very happy being CIO. A full 75% said they are either not interested in a role change (9%), Most were interested in expanded responsibilities in their current role (52%) Some are interested in same role but in a larger organization (16%).

For those who would like a different role, over half would choose a Chief Transformation Officer role. Other attractive roles are CEO, Chief Strategy Officer and COO.

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