Only 4 pc of CEOs at the world's top companies served in a technology leadership role before moving into the top spot, according to a study conducted by CA Technologies.

That can slow down the technological changes that are essential for companies to thrive in today's business environment, CA Technologies, an IT services group, said.

"The attitudes of business executives are less progressive it seems than the capability of IT for transformation," CA Technologies said in a press release.

The company commissioned market researchers Vanson Bourne to conduct 685 telephone interviews earlier this year among CIOs in worldwide organizations of 500 or more employees in the telecoms, retail, financial and manufacturing sectors.The research led to a report called "Becoming the boss."

CA Technologies said that, for companies "business strategy is no longer discrete from IT." The specialists urged companies to involve IT in corporate goal setting early in the process. "Setting a course, then asking IT to deliver on the vision misses the huge opportunity for building strategies that optimize technology advances as they happen."

The research fond that CIOs see "a new landscape of opportunity" to drive business strategy with technology at its core. They cited opportunities in Cloud computing in particular.

And the study found that 54 pc of CIOs polled aspire to use their roles as a stepping stone toward general business management positions."Many consider themselves as a contender for future chief executive," the study concluded.