A new study from Armonk N.Y.-based IBM finds CIOs balancing budgetary and macroeconomic concerns against a bevy of technical opportunities and imperatives. The report, "The New Voice of CIO: Insights from the Global Chief Information Officer Study," queried more than 2,500 CIOs, which included respondents from 78 countries and 19 industries - insurance included. The numbers revealed that CIOs are confronting a wide array of challenges. One prominent challenge is cutting costs. To achieve this, respondents said, their focus is on standardization and centralization.

One finding of the study revealed the role of CIOs is becoming less about technology and more about strategy. Accordingly, respondents indicated that on average, they devote 55% of their time to tasks related to innovation, while devoting the remaining 45% to activities related to the managing of the ongoing environment. What's more, CIOs spend a considerable amount of time creating and generating "buy-in" for innovative plans.

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