CIOs focus on analytics to drive business

Business intelligence and analytics are the top priority for CIOs, an IBM study reveals.

Business intelligence and analytics are the top priority for CIOs, an IBM study reveals.

The face to face survey, called "The New Voice of the CIO", of more than 2,500 CIOs worldwide, showed that leveraging analytics to gain a competitive advantage and improve business decision-making is now the top priority for CIOs.

IBM's own CIO, Pat Toole, said the role of the CIO was changing dramatically. He said CIOs were trying to standardise routine processes and simplify their existing IT infrastructure to reduce costs on the one hand. On the other they were spending more time planning strategic projects to drive growth.

The survey also revealed that data reliability and security are increasingly urgent concerns, with 71% of CIOs planning to spend more on risk management and compliance.

Other key findings of the survey include:

  • 76% are implementing or planning virtualisation projects to cut energy costs
  • 76% anticipate building a strongly centralised infrastructure in the next five years
  • 50%-plus expect to implement completely standardised, low-cost business processes

The survey also found that CIOs will in future spend 55% of their time driving innovation and growth, and only 45% on traditional IT tasks like infrastructure and operations management.

Pat Toole said CIOs understood that analytics can be key to identifying new growth markets, whether it was new ways to manage a utility grid, smarter healthcare systems or new supply chain management systems.

"Managing and leveraging new intelligence through analytics is something that today's CIO is pursuing to gain competitive advantage in these new markets," Toole said.

The study found CIOs busy with or thinking about projects that could provide immediate and long-term financial impact. These ranged from process improvement to taking advantage of technologies that can provide.

Key technologies were business intelligence and analytics, virtualisation and green IT, service oriented architectures (SOA), service management and cloud computing.

CIOs also aimed to connect staff, customers and business partners remotely and on the move with unified communications projects, collaboration and social networking tools, and web 2.0 projects, the study said.

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