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Gartner: CIOs must do more to add business value

Cliff Saran

With no increase in IT budgets for 2012, CIOs will have to balance multiple priorities, according to analyst Gartner.

In a study of 2,300 CIOs for the Gartner Executive Program, the analyst predicted CIO IT budgets will remain flat, increasing just 0.5%, with declining IT budgets in North America and Europe.

Mark McDonald, group vice-president for Gartner Executive Programs and Gartner fellow, said: "CIOs concentrating on IT as a force of operational automation, integration and control are losing ground to executives who see technology as a business amplifier and source of innovation.”

According to McDonald, while the present economic conditions may tempt CIOs to force IT back into cost-cutting mode,  senior executives expect technology to address the tough challenges by amplifying enterprise strategies and operations.

Meeting business expectations for increased growth, reduced cost or a transformed customer experience normally involves a significant increase in IT resources.

Top 10 CIO Business and Technology Priorities in 2012

Top 10 Business Priorities

Ranking

Top 10 Technology Priorities

Ranking

Increasing enterprise growth

1

Analytics and business intelligence

1

Attracting and retaining new customers

2

Mobile technologies

2

Reducing enterprise costs

3

Cloud computing (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS)

3

Creating new products and services (innovation)

4

Collaboration technologies (workflow)

4

Delivering operational results

5

Legacy modernisation

5

Improving efficiency 

6

IT management

6

Improving profitability (margins) 

7

CRM

7

Attracting and retaining the workforce

8

ERP applications

8

Improving marketing and sales effectiveness

9

Security

9

Expanding into new markets and geographies

10

Virtualisation

10

Source: Gartner Executive Programs (January 2012)

Analytics and business intelligence was the top-ranked technology for 2012. Gartner reported that 61% of organisations responding to the survey say they will be improving their mobile capability over the next three years. Most have a mobility strategy that calls for becoming a market leader in their industry — so there will be significant competition as each seeks to fight to the top of its industry.

"Mobility, social media, information and analytics can be used to re-imagine the customer experience, as well as sales and service channels. These technologies do more than automate or administer processes; they are the processes and the sources of value," McDonald said.

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