Sierra Ventures’ CIO Survey Report Showcases Top Priorities for Today’s CIOs

Report Finds Traditional IT Providers At Risk -

CIOs at Crossroads between Innovation and Mission Critical Operations

MENLO PARK, Calif.--()--Sierra Ventures released today its first CIO Survey Report: “Seizing Opportunity, The Transition from Legacy to Innovation in Enterprise IT.” The report is the first in a series to be issued by Sierra Ventures (Sierra) that leverages information and opinions from Sierra’s CIO Advisory Board.

Sierra partnered with Professor Stuart Evans of Carnegie Mellon University-Silicon Valley to conduct the survey and compile the report. Sierra tapped into its CIO Advisory Board, whose roster includes Fortune 500 CIOs and CTOs from across all major industries, to gather their thoughts and insights. Carnegie Mellon–Silicon Valley coupled with Sierra’s enterprise expertise and vantage point helped to identify the key priorities, opportunities, and challenges that currently face CIOs and CTOs as they shift from legacy systems to innovative solutions.

The report explores the drivers of this fundamental shift, the CIO’s perspective on how this new world will take shape and impact their organizations along with case studies of companies that have found successful formulas for bringing innovation into the enterprise.

“Sierra’s CIO Advisory Board provided us with so many strategic insights into the challenges that face today’s CIOs that we decided to formalize them into this report,” said Tim Guleri, Managing Director, Sierra Ventures. “We found that today, CIOs and CTOs have to wear multiple hats such as being strategic while keeping up with ever-changing technology advances and maintaining legacy systems. They have to evaluate risk, be innovative—all while keeping the lights on and the systems up and running. CIOs are changing the way they approach new technologies by sharing and leveraging the risks through strong relationships with VCs and other CIOs in non-competing industries, and we are happy to be partners in this journey.”

The Findings

Obviously, organizations that can figure out how to incorporate new technologies into their core businesses can outsmart their competition, which has a huge impact on bottom line performance. For instance, results showcased in the report show that the most important areas for IT innovation are Big Data and Mobile Devices with CIOs responding as follows:

32% Big Data
32% Mobile Devices
24% Cloud Computing
12% Social Media

Other outcomes found that the demand for better solutions is the business driver for innovation (52%), followed by competitive pressures (36%) and global markets (12%).

And, the biggest impediment to IT innovation, CIOs responded as follows:

32% Skills shortage
29% Maintenance of legacy systems
25% New efforts with limited clear goals
16% Scaling/support of new technology for enterprise

Interestingly, the survey found that when CIOs were asked to list which companies were most at risk for IT spending budgets, 80% of CIOs named at least one top 10 technology company (by market cap according to Google Finance).

Overall, the CIOs believe that IT innovation will have the greatest impact on driving sales growth, and without innovation in the enterprise, growth and market position will suffer.

About Sierra Ventures CIO Advisory Board

The Sierra Ventures CIO Advisory Board is made up of more than 80 Fortune 500 CIOs and CTOs from across all major industries. They meet regularly throughout the year to discuss emerging technology trends and provide feedback and advice to early stage companies. The members of the CIO Advisory Board provide strategic insights that accelerate the growth of Sierra’s portfolio companies by facilitating strategic partnerships, sitting on boards, and offering advice where appropriate. CIO Board members benefit by gaining insight on emerging market trends and best practices from their top peers in the industry. The board has become an asset that benefits each stage of Sierra’s investment process.

About Carnegie Mellon University – Silicon Valley

Carnegie Mellon University – Silicon Valley is a private research university with a distinctive mix of world-renowned programs in engineering, computer science, robotics, business, public policy, fine arts and the humanities. In 2002, Carnegie Mellon established its Silicon Valley campus at Moffett Field in Mountain View, California to expand the reach of its outstanding professional programs and to perform innovative research that connects it to local, national, and global high-tech companies.

Long known for its leadership in engineering and computer science research and education, Carnegie Mellon and the College of Engineering have established a natural extension in the Silicon Valley, one that integrates the rich heritage and resources of the Pittsburgh campus with the opportunities available in the highly innovative and entrepreneurial Silicon Valley.

About Sierra Ventures

Since 1982, Sierra Ventures, a privately held venture capital firm, has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs around the world begin and grow successful technology companies. Sierra is investing out of its tenth fund and currently has more than $1.2 billion of capital under management, focusing on investments across all areas of the information technology sector from semiconductors to enterprise software. Sierra’s proven track record of partnering with visionary entrepreneurs and working with them to build great technology companies includes the IPOs of Invensense (INVN:NYSE), MakeMyTrip (MMYT:NASD), Sourcefire (FIRE:NASD), Authentec (AUTH:NASD) and the acquisitions of Frontbridge (by MSFT), Greenplum (by EMC), DynamicOps (by VMW), and SyChip (by Murata). For more information please visit:


For Sierra Ventures
Alissa Bushnell, 415-235-9532

Release Summary

Sierra Ventures released today its first CIO Survey Report: “Seizing Opportunity, The Transition from Legacy to Innovation in Enterprise IT.”


For Sierra Ventures
Alissa Bushnell, 415-235-9532