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Chief information officers in the UK are spending less time on the day-to-day running of IT and controlling costs as their focus shifts to business transformation and innovation - but aligning IT with business needs is still a core concern and priority for 2016.

That's according to the 2016 UK CIO Priorities report by Computerworld UK's sister title CIO UK, which showed that despite a shift in focus to leading changing efforts and driving business innovation, simplifying IT and technology alignment were still high on the agenda for senior IT executives despite the general shift in focus away from operational IT and managing IT crises. You can read the full 2016 UK CIO Priorities research here.

How to be a CIO

CIO coach and CIO UK columnist Catherine Stagg-Macey believes CIOs need a strong support group of direct reports and IT professionals to be able to run the IT function and focus on innovation.

She said: "The CIO really has to understand industry changes, current and future business operating models, and the role that technology has in this future. All this implies a well run IT shop and a strong IT leadership team that can free up the CIO to be more outward focused."

CIO advisor Ian Cox commented that the changing priorities may be tough for CIOs as they move further into business strategy.

He said: "Using technology to improve what the organisation already does is an inward perspective and where many CIOs have always focused. This will always be an important role for IT. A switch in focus to innovation may be a challenge for many CIOs who have traditionally been focused on cost control and managing the day-to-day running of IT."

You can read the full 2016 UK CIO Priorities research here.