Compared to their peers who got a hike, these Indian CIOs are doing the right things but aren't getting paid for it.   

You've got to sympathize with the Indian CIOs who didn't get a salary hike this year. They are focusing on the right initiatives and their businesses actually perceive them a notch higher than CIOs who got a hike. But sadly, they aren't getting paid for it and they don't make a majority.

In general, more CIOs got salary hikes this year--and the hikes were more than they expected. According to CIO India's Mid-year Review 2014, 71 percent of Indian CIOs say they got a salary hike this year--compared to only 58 percent last year. Six months ago, a majority of Indian CIOs said they expected a hike between 6-10 percent. The good news? They received a 12 percent hike this year.

That leaves almost a third of Indian CIOs (29 percent)--who didn't get a hike--unhappy and dissatisfied. Only 49 percent of CIOs who didn't get a hike are satisfied at their jobs compared to 70 percent who got a hike.

It isn't hard to see why a majority of CIOs who didn't get hikes are dissatisfied. Unlike CIOs who got increases, they focused on creating financial impact--lowering business costs and increasing profits. While CIOs who got a hike increased focus on creating operational impact--increasing the efficiency of operations, using resources more optimally.

You'd think that CIOs who got hikes would work on initiatives that focus on meeting business goals. Instead, the most important IT management initiative that CIOs who received pay increases want to focus on in the next nine months is improving business processes.

In the meanwhile, CIOs who didn't get a hike plan to focus on investing in systems that help them engage with customers or business partners, and on increasing the scope of centralized IT or shared services to improve efficiency.

These factors could be indicators as to why a majority of CIOs who didn't get a hike are perceived as valued service providers by their businesses--which means they have a credible reputation for efficient and effective delivery. While their peers who got a hike are perceived by business as trusted partners--trusted, influential collaborator on all things IT.

And that's evident from the fact that CIOs who didn't get a hike saw their IT budget increase by 19 percent--compared to the 17 percent increase for CIOs who got a hike.

But when it came to staff compensation, all CIOs who got a hike say their staff compensation has also increased. But staff compensation has increased for only 28 percent of CIOs who didn't get a hike.

One factor was common between CIOs who got a hike and those who didn't. Irrespective of whether they got a hike or not, Indian CIOs say their top challenge is inadequate in-house skill sets in emerging technologies like mobility, cloud computing, security and analytics.

That aside, the survey reveals that there's a wide gap between CIOs who got a hike and those who didn't. Time to give them their due?