The role of the CIO is better compensated than ever, but there’s still ‘work to do’ to gain respect, according to a new report.

Research carried out by for its ‘2015 state of the CIO’ report (its 14th iteration) looked at the role of the Chief Information Officer in businesses as a whole. Based on a survey of 558 IT chiefs, it analyses the challenges faced by CIOs in 2014 and the most notable achievements of the last 12 months.

It shows that CIOs continue to struggle to balance the need for innovation with the need to keep IT operations running efficiently and securely. The role is considered challenging with high expectations, and 75 per cent of CIOs say it’s tough to find the right balance.

When it comes to compensation, base salary plus bonuses and stock options increased on average to $234,830 (£155,204), with the higher averages being seen in the financial services industry. A ‘war’ for talent means that 56 per cent of CIOs expect to experience IT skills shortages in the coming year.

In terms of respect, CIOs viewed as “business leaders” are in the minority; according to the report just 13 per cent are defined as a “key driver of the enterprise’s competitive future”. Many CIOs feel that the IT group is viewed as a service provider (38 per cent), whilst 30 per cent are perceived as competent business partners.

Looking to the future 49 per cent of CIOs agreed on the likelihood of their future role being primarily focused on managing contractors, cloud vendors and other IT service providers.