Trendy techs top CIO priority lists for 2013 says Gartner study
Faced with flatlining IT budgets, global CIOs must better exploit the business potential of technology to achieve results – currently they realise only 43% of that potential says Gartner.
Top of the priority list is what the research firm calls ‘digital technologies’. In this it includes mobile, analytics, Big Data, social media networking and cloud, all of which “have reached a tipping point with business executives” in the past 18 months.
The findings are from Hunting and Harvesting in a Digital World: The 2013 CIO Agenda, a global survey of CIOs by Gartner’s Executive Programs. Carried out in the fourth quarter of last year, the survey covered 2,053 CIOs, representing more than $230 billion in IT budgets across 36 industries in 41 countries.
“Digital technologies provide a platform to achieve results, but only if CIOs adopt new roles and behaviours to find digital value,” said Mark McDonald, group vice president and Gartner Fellow. “CIOs require a new agenda that incorporates hunting for new digital innovations and opportunities, and harvesting value from products, services and operations.
McDonald said that not all of those surveyed are worried about the changes that are taking place around them – far from it, in fact. “In a world of change, it is concerning that around half of CIOs surveyed do not see IT’s enterprise role changing over the next three years,” he said. “IT needs new tools if it hopes to hunt for technology-intensive innovation and harvest raised business performance from transformed IT infrastructure, operations and applications. Without change, CIOs and IT consign themselves to tending a garden of legacy assets and responsibilities.”
The survey showed that IT budgets have been flat to negative ever since the dot-com bust of 2002. For 2013 budgets are projected to be slightly down, with a weighted global average decline of 0.5%. EMEA is the only region to show slight growth of 0.4% in 2013. “While most CIO IT budgets in Western Countries are expected to be flat or negative, German CIOs are the most pessimistic with an estimate of 2% decline in their IT budgets in 2013,” said Dave Aron, vice president and Gartner Fellow.
Digital technologies dominate CIO technology priorities for 2013. The top 10 global technology priorities revealed by the survey reflect a greater emphasis on externally-oriented digital technologies, as opposed to traditional IT/operationally oriented systems.
CIOs see these technologies as disrupting business fundamentally over the next 10 years. When asked which digital technologies would be most disruptive, 70% of CIOs cited mobile technologies, followed by big data/analytics at 55%, social media at 54% and public cloud at 51%. The potential for disruption of each of these technologies is real, but CIOs see their greatest disruptive power coming in combination, rather than in isolation.
“As CIOs continue to amplify the organisation with digital technologies while improving IT organisational structure, management and governance, 2013 promises to be a year of dual priorities,” said Aron. “Key CIO strategies identified in the survey reflect the realities of these dual business priorities and confirm the need to expand IT’s ability to hunt for new opportunities and harvest current business value. While CIOs recognise that IT’s value contribution comes from delivering business solutions, they also recognise that the prioritisation and delivery of specific results must change.”
As needs and opportunities evolve, more CIOs will find themselves leading in areas outside of traditional IT. In addition to their tending role, they are starting to assume responsibility for hunting for digital opportunities and harvesting value: 67% of CIOs surveyed have significant leadership responsibilities outside of IT, with only 33% having no other such responsibilities. This situation contrasts sharply with 2008, when almost half of CIOs had no responsibilities outside of IT. Almost a fifth of CIOs now act as their enterprise’s chief digital officer, leading digital commerce and channels. Although this nascent role varies in scope and style, it normally includes championing the digital vision for the business — that is, ensuring that the business is evolving optimally in the new digital context.
Top 10 CIO Business and Technology Priorities in 2013
|Top 10 Business Priorities||Ranking||Top 10 Technology Priorities||Ranking|
|Increasing enterprise growth||1||Analytics and business intelligence||1|
|Delivering operational results||2||Mobile technologies||2|
|Reducing enterprise costs||3||Cloud computing (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS)||3|
|Attracting and retaining new customers||4||Collaboration technologies (workflow)||4|
|Improving IT applications and infrastructure||5||Legacy modernisation||5|
|Creating new products and services (innovation)||6||IT management||6|
|Attracting and retaining the workforce||8||Virtualisation||8|
|Implementing analytics and big data||9||Security||9|
|Expanding into new markets and geographies||10||ERP Applications||10|
Source: Gartner Executive Programs (January 2013)