A new survey of business and IT executives by McKinsey shows that IT performance increases across the board when CIOs are involved in shaping business strategy.

When CIOs play an active role in business strategy, IT performance is enhanced on a range of functional and business tasks, the study says. But  few executives say their IT leaders are closely involved in helping shape the strategic agenda, and confidence in IT’s ability to support growth and other business goals is waning, the report notes.

In addition, IT and business executives disagree strongly on the IT function’s overall priorities. Both sides agree on the need for better data and analytics talent, a challenge that has grown in importance.

McKinsey researchers say the results suggest that closing the gap to engage more CIOs in strategy discussions could deliver business benefits and address widespread concerns over IT effectiveness.

On the whole, the study says, executives’ current perceptions of IT performance are “decidedly negative”. Beyond providing basic services and managing infrastructure, just one-third or less of respondents say their IT functions are very or extremely effective at a range of tasks.

Even within IT, the report says, the shares reporting effective performance are small. The results also show fading confidence in IT’s ability to support key business activities such as driving growth. In the 2012 survey on business and technology, 57% of executives said IT facilitated their companies’ ability to enter new markets. In the latest survey only 35% say IT facilitates market entry, and 41% report no effect.

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