Business heads regard IT as a competitive advantage, according to Gartner.
"Board directors clearly have a top priority to invest in and leverage IT for competitive advantage," said Jorge Lopez, vice-president and distinguished analyst at the analyst company.
Half of the board directors surveyed in the second annual Gartner-Forbes 2012 Board of Directors Survey highlighted IT as the highest priority for investment in 2012, tied with investments in sales.
Gartner and Forbes surveyed 175 board members in March and April this year on their perceptions of the key business issues facing their organisations and the contemporary aspect of their attitudes toward IT.
Top priorities for top-level business managers
- Attracting new customers
- Retaining and enhancing existing customer relationships
- Focusing on core competencies
- Maintaining competitive advantage
- Fostering innovation
Some 86% of respondents expected IT's strategic contribution to the business to increase by 2014.
Gartner recommends that IT leaders review their plans for integrating acquired company systems. They should also prepare plans for divestitures as the investment portfolio is restructured for lower risk.
"CIOs need to review project elements with the CEO and key board sponsors so they can understand that the project is designed to enhance their priorities in a meaningful way," said Mark Raskino, vice-president and Gartner fellow.
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