IT and HR: better together

To assess how well a CIO is performing, look at their relationship with the CHRO

CIO performance metrics for digitized organizations

In a survey of more than 500 CIOs, those with the most mature digital strategies and capabilities are also more likely to report effective collaboration across the C-suite.  

The peer business leader that CIOs have the most effective relationship with is the chief human resources officer (CHRO), according to new research by Oxford Economics that will appear in the June issue of ServiceNow’s Workflow Quarterly.

Tiffany Hall, CIO of the world’s largest independent cancer charity, Cancer Research UK, agrees that senior-level relationships across business units are key to success. In her experience, a strong partnership between IT and HR can both prove the value of the IT organization and benefit IT directly.

“Some departments prefer to treat us as a supplier, rather than as a partner, and yet it’s as a partner that we can add more value,” says Hall. At Cancer Research UK, the HR function is on a digital journey to “run their own technologies more easily themselves,” as Hall’s department partners with them to address recruitment and retention challenges.

CIO performance metrics for digitized organizations

In fact, 77% of CIOs surveyed agree it’s their role to partner with CHROs to set HR and talent strategies. Yet only the highest-performing CIOs track closely to that figure, with 73% saying they have an effective relationship with the CHRO. Among the other CIOs in the survey, just 49% say they have an effective relationship.

Unsurprisingly, the survey found that skill gaps are among the biggest factors that block CIOs from achieving better business outcomes via digital workflows.

One variable that appears to correlate with a close CHRO relationship is workflow digitization. CIOs who rate their current CHRO collaboration as “highly effective” are more than twice as likely to say they are “far along” with digitization, versus “beginning to evaluate.”

Another variable may be cultural and geographic differences. While the CIO-CHRO relationship is fairly consistent across more than 20 industries, CIOs in Japan, France and the U.S. are more likely to have a more effective relationship with their CHROs than in the Netherlands or U.K.

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