14 Jan Gartner: CIO survey says IT budgets are flat; process improvements top '09 agenda
Stamford, Conn. – It’s no secret that companies face problematic economic and business environments, and that’s reflected in the results of the 2009 CIO survey by Gartner Executive Programs, which found that IT spending budgets essentially will be flat.
With a planned increase of 0.16 percent in 2009, flat IT budgets were found across enterprises in North America and Europe, with slight increases in Latin America and a slight decrease in Asia/Pacific.
The worldwide survey of 1,527 CIOs was conducted by Gartner from Sept. 15 to Dec. 15, 2008, and represents CIO budget plans reported at that time. The survey represents more than $138 billion in corporate and public-sector IT spending.
“In 2009, executives face challenging global economic conditions that have not existed for more than 50 years,” said Mark McDonald, group vice president and head of research for Gartner Executive Programs, in a statement published with the findings.
McDonald said this environment is reflected in IT budgets, priorities and strategies, as one third of CIOs reported no change in their budget from 2008, 46 percent reported a slight increase, and 21 percent reported a cut in IT.
He said all CIOs will face the need to restructure their budgets, cutting in some areas and investing in others, including those reporting no change in their overall spending level.
“Enterprises expect IT to contribute results in an uncertain economy,” McDonald said. “CIOs need to be decisive and resourceful in building an effective enterprise that can meet current and future challenges.”
Amid this backdrop, business process improvements remained the top priority of survey respondents. The business priority “improving business processes” has been the No. 1 business expectation of IT since its introduction to the CIO Agenda survey in 2005. In 2009, more than 57 percent of CIOs reported this as one of their top five business expectations.
Top 10 Business and Technology Priorities in 2009
|Top 10 Business Priorities||Ranking||Top 10 Technology Priorities||Ranking|
|Business process improvement||1||Business intelligence||1|
|Reducing enterprise costs||2||Enterprise applications (ERP, CRM and others)||2|
|Improving enterprise workforce effectiveness||3||Servers and storage technologies (virtualization)||3|
|Attracting and retaining new customers||4||Legacy application modernization||4|
|Increasing the use of information/analytics||5||Collaboration technologies||5|
|Creating new products or services (innovation)||6||Networking, voice and data communications||6|
|Targeting customers and markets more effectively||7||Technical infrastructure||7|
|Managing change initiatives||8||Security technologies||8|
|Expanding current customer relationships||9||Service-oriented applications and architecture||9|
|Expanding into new markets and geographies||10||Document management||10|
Source: Gartner EXP (January 2009)
Realizing value from existing assets
McDonald advised CIOs to develop business process improvement capabilities as part of the core of IT. He said this would enable them to respond to executive expectations that view business processes as important to business performance.
Also according to the survey, CIOs will continue to invest in technologies beyond the infrastructure core, but the focus of these investments has shifted from planting emerging technologies to “harvesting” enterprise investments.
McDonald offered some additional leadership advice, including the use of business intelligence to raise visibility, to do “first things faster” as changing economic conditions render large projects irrelevant, modernize technical infrastructre as new technologies offer lower cost, and be resourceful with the use of assets because business will not reduce demands on IT just because CIOs have fewer resources.
Additional comments from McDonald regarding the 2009 CIO Agenda survey are available on the Gartner You Tube channel and on McDonald’s blog on the Gartner Blog Network.