Gartner CIO survey predicts major global IT change

Gartner CIO survey predicts major global IT change

Stamford, Conn. – Over the next three years, 85 percent of chief information officers see significant change coming as they look to meet rising business expectations for IT, according to a worldwide survey of 1,500 CIOs by Gartner Executive Programs.
The Gartner EXP CIO report, titled “Making the Difference: The 2008 CIO Agenda,” is a comprehensive examination of business priorities and CIO strategies. It encompasses more than $132 billion dollars of IT spending and the insights from more than 1,450 businesses across 33 countries and 23 industries, and the message is that business leaders expect IT to make the difference rather than deliver generic IT solutions.

Mark McDonald

Mark McDonald, group vice president and head of research for Gartner Executive Programs, said in a release that CIOs recognize the importance of IT in changing business processes, attracting customers, and developing new products and services. However, they are guarded in their confidence in IT’s ability to create results in these areas.
IT budgets at companies that go beyond generic IT are growing at a rate of 4.9 percent on average, compared with IT budgets at generic IT shops, which will rise an average of 3.1 percent. “Momentum has been building for IT to play a larger role,” McDonald said. “This year, those expectations are beginning to outpace CIO confidence to deliver. This sharpens CIO concentration on IT capabilities like never before.”
McDonald noted that despite their hesitancy, CIOs are in a strong position to lead in making the difference. He said CIO tenure has stabilized at an average of four years and four months, giving CIOs ample time to work with executives to transform their enterprises.
In addition, more than half of CIOs report having responsibilities outside of traditional IT, which reflects their enhanced business leadership position. The most common additional responsibility, he said, is related to the business process improvement that is the driving force behind most large IT implementations. In the survey, improving business processes was the No. 1 business priority of CIOs for the fourth consecutive year.
CIO staffing challenges
The survey also indicates that while overall IT effectiveness continues to increase, CIOs face challenges in their people, processes, and IT performance. Only 27 percent of CIOs believe that they have the right number of skilled people to meet business needs, and that is impacting both IT performance and IT’s support for enterprise strategies.
Half of CIOs reporting a skills issue have building IT skills as a top-five strategy for 2008. “The skills of your people count,” McDonald said. “Two-thirds of IT organizations that do not meet business expectations claim that skills are at the core of their performance issue.”
Web 2.0 and social computing
In results that are consistent with a recent WTN survey of Wisconsin technology managers, Gartner found that Web 2.0 and social computing are on the rise worldwide. Half the companies increasing their investment in Web 2.0 are doing so for the first time, and social computing is becoming a way that IT can play a direct role in making the difference to the customer and the market.
“Every company is entering a world rich with information and expression,” McDonald said. “Web 2.0 and social computing provide tools to capture both and turn them into customer insight, engagement, and retention.”
CIO 2008 priorities
The following table outlines the top 10 CIO business and technology priorities in 2008.

Top 10 Business Priorities Ranking Top 10 Technology Priorities Ranking
Business process improvement 1 Business intelligence applications 1
Attracting and retaining new customers 2 Enterprise applications (ERP, CRM and others) 2
Creating new products and services (innovation) 3 Servers and storage technologies 3
Expanding into new markets or geographies 4 Legacy modernization, upgrade or enhancement 4
Reducing enterprise costs 5 Technical infrastructure 5
Improving enterprise workforce effectiveness 6 Security technologies 6
Expanding current customer relationships 7 Networking, voice and data 7
Increasing the use of information and analytics 8 Collaboration technologies 8
Targeting customers and markets more effectively 9 Document management 9
Acquiring new companies and capabilities (mergers and acquisitions) 10 Service-oriented architecture (SOA) and service-oriented business applications (SOBA) 10

Source: Gartner EXP (January 2008)
According to McDonald, CIOs and IT will need to realign around the enterprise strategy, enterprise performance, and results, or else they will only reinforce the perception that IT provides market-matching solutions rather than market-making capabilities.
“CIOs see business expectations of IT taking a big leap in 2008,” McDonald said, and they are now expected to deliver the solutions that make the enterprise different in a way that matters to company performance and customer satisfaction.
“That is a tall order requiring CIOs to think differently about their role in 2008 and beyond,” he added.
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