In 2005, many CIOs decided to get on with the job of implementing change rather than wait any longer for business to be on a stronger financial footing, writes Margaret Smith, chief executive of user group CIO Connect.
Process overhaul was a key initiative this year, while innovation also began to emerge as a key driver. This time last year, by contrast, governance was a key driver.
A lot of the feedback at CIO Connect has emphasised that Sarbanes-Oxley and governance generally deflected companies from doing business and was a big opportunity cost for businesses. But for 2006 it looks like most firms are starting to emerge from this phase to start driving their businesses forward again.
CIOs have been forced to accept this year that we cannot predict the unknown but should make ourselves and our systems more agile and responsive. This is especially true given the never-ending whirl of overall business reorganisations that seems to be happening.
One positive trend this year was how many business sponsors or directors began to take ownership of delivery of the benefits of the systems they commissioned from IT rather than leaving this to the CIO.
That is a big change since 2004, and it means that CIOs now feel they are able - and accepted as being able - to put forward new ideas to develop the business.