IT's business value is on the rise, say CIOs

CIO Index shows invreasing alignment of IT and business goals

IT directors have voiced strong confidence in their ability to provide measurable business benefits for their organisations through IT-based projects.

The inaugural Computer Weekly CIO Index survey of top UK IT management shows that 95% of IT directors believe IT is providing more demonstrable value to the business than a year ago, and that they will be able to demonstrate even greater returns a year from now.

The exclusive research is the first to show what CIOs really think about the role that IT plays in the business.

IT chiefs also believe that understanding between the IT department and other business functions is on the rise, with 90% saying that communications between IT and the business are improving.

More than 75% say that the board understands the importance of IT to the business, with just over 70% adding that they felt sufficiently empowered by their boards.

When it comes to data and network security, however, the picture is less rosy, with 66% of IT chiefs saying IT security is not adequately funded by their organisations.

Business continuity also provides cause for concern among IT leaders. More than 33% of respondents say their business continuity plans are not robust, and 47% do not believe that their supply chain’s business continuity plans are up to scratch.

Outsourcing is another contentious topic. The Computer Weekly CIO Index reveals a strong backlash against outsourcing, with 75% of IT directors reporting that outsourcing has not provided the expected benefits.

However, most of the IT directors surveyed find that recruiting in-house skills to meet their requirements is a problem. More than 70% say they are unable to get staff with the necessary skills.

Relationships with IT suppliers are reported to be “broadly satisfactory” by 90% of IT directors, and software companies can draw satisfaction from the perception that their products are improving. More than 70% of IT leaders believe the quality of third-party software is better than it was three years ago.

But software licensing is still a cause of frustration for many IT directors. Only 33% believe that IT suppliers have become more accommodating in the way they license software.

On the issue of data quality, IT directors sounded an optimistic note with 66% saying that the quality of the data provided by users is getting better.

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