Chief information officers often get blamed when things go wrong, but they rarely get much recognition when IT does work well. That is beginning to change.
IT leaders such as Colin Cobain, the CIO at supermarket chain Tesco, are beginning to win acclaim for the pivotal role IT is playing in transforming corporate performance.
A survey of the CIOs at the UK's 100 largest organisations and 50 systems integrators found that Cobain was the most admired CIO in the UK. Honourable mentions go to BT's Alnoor Ramji, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein's JP Rangaswami, Paul Coby of British Airways and Mark Russell of Lehman Brothers.
The survey also explored external attitudes towards successful IT departments. Again, Tesco prevailed, with BT and the BBC also winning admiration from those interviewed.
Clearly there is a link between the perceived success of the business and the admiration for the CIO, says Pundarik Ranchhod, director of systems integrator 7irene, which commissioned the survey.
There is still some way to go before IT executives get the recognition they crave, however. The fourth most common response to the question about the best CIO was ‘I've never heard of any of them'.