Gartner 2010 CIO Survey: A Time of Great IT Transition

Michael Vizard

After several years of focusing primarily on cost-cutting, the latest survey of CIOs from Gartner Group shows that senior IT executives are once again focusing on the strategic role that IT plays in productivity.


But according to Mark McDonald, Gartner group vice president and head of research for Gartner EXP, this shift will be unlike anything IT executives experienced in the past in that the enhancements to productivity will be defined by the ability of senior IT leaders to drive new business processes that increase profits and enhance revenue while continuing to drop real costs.


The annual Gartner survey of CIOs finds that 1,586 CIOs finds that the top 10 business priorities for CIOs are:

  1. Business Process Improvement
  2. Reducing Enterprise Costs
  3. Increase the Use of Information/Analytics
  4. Improve Enterprise Workforce Effectiveness
  5. Attracting and Retaining New Customers
  6. Managing Change Initiatives
  7. Creating New Products and Services (Innovation)
  8. Targeting Customers and Markets More Effectively
  9. Consolidating Business Operations
  10. Expanding Current Customer Relationships


But while these business priorities represent business goals that CIOs aspire to, their priorities in terms of technologies show a more practical inclination. They include:

  1. Virtualization
  2. Cloud Computing
  3. Web 2.0
  4. Networking, Voice and Data Communications
  5. Business Intelligence
  6. Mobile Technologies
  7. Data/Document Management and Storage
  8. Service-Oriented Applications and Architecture
  9. Security Technologies
  10. IT Management


Obviously, there isn't a perfect alignment between the business and technology goals of the CIOs surveyed. But as tough economic times continue, it's not all that surprising that the practical realities of running IT in a period of ongoing budget declines are still top of mind. In fact, Gartner says that while IT budgets in 2010 should increase about 1.3 percent in nominal terms, this increase comes on the heels of 8.1 percent declines in IT spending in 2009. On average, Gartner says several years of declining spending mean that on average most IT budgets for 2010 or roughly equal to the IT budgets that CIO's had in 2005.


The end result, McDonald says, is a huge amount of focus on more efficiency in the form of virtualization and cloud computing in order to free up budget dollars to fund growth in a recovering economy. That means, says McDonald, that the coming year is unlikely to be like any other year before it as IT organizations strive to add value with a minimal amount of additional funding. In short, that amounts to "business as unusual" as CIOs struggle to with tighter budgets alongside increased expectations that will define the nature of IT success from here on out. Ultimately, these twin pillars of success will define the next generation of IT leaders.



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Jan 21, 2010 6:18 AM Steven Romero, IT Governance Evangelist Steven Romero, IT Governance Evangelist  says:

These studies drive me nuts. "...senior IT executives are once again focusing on the strategic role that IT plays in productivity"?!? What have they been doing?!?! Yes, for several years they have focused primarily on cost-cutting, but wasn't that their "strategy"?

Gartner says this shift will be unlike anything IT executives experienced in the past in that the enhancements to productivity will be defined by the ability of senior IT leaders to drive new business processes that increase profits and enhance revenue while continuing to drop real costs. Again, what the heck have they BEEN doing?!?

OK, we all know the answers to my rhetorical questions. Most enterprises mistakenly view IT as a cost to be managed as opposed to an asset to be leveraged - and too many IT Leaders accept the role born of this mistaken view. And ABSOLUTELY yes, there is a chronic disconnect between technology investment and driving biz processes that enhance revenue. But not all organizations have this mistaken view or disconnect, and they have the successes to prove it.

I wish the study stated how more NON-IT Executives are focusing on the strategic role IT plays in productivity. When THEY do, it will be far from "business as usual" in IT.

Thanks for the post Mike. Keep the great info coming.

Steve Romero, IT Governance Evangelist

http://community.ca.com/blogs/theitgovernanceevangelist/

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