18 January 2005 The challenges facing CIOs is changing, according to analyst group Gartner, with increasing numbers called upon to support business growth. But funding to deliver the new objectives will be limited.
According to a survey of 1,300 CIOs – a group with a total IT budget of $57 billion – in 2005 they are being asked to come up with strategies for utilising IT to grow the business, after years focusing on delivering cost reductions through technology driven operating efficiencies.
“CIOs must deliver more value and become a contributor rather than a commodity. They must do this without large up-front investments and CIOs are turning to business processes and business intelligence to meet this challenge,” said Marcus Blosch, group VP and research director at Gartner.
But while CIOs acknowledge a change in priorities, they are expecting little more funding to achieve the new goals – on average, most expect budget increases of just 2.5%.
The survey also highlighted major HR challenges for 2005. Only a minority – 39% – felt they had the right personnel to meet current and future business needs. Moreover, of those who cited business process improvement in their top five priorities, just 20% thought the IT organisation had the necessary skills to implement this.
The highest areas for technology investment were in security enhancement tools, business intelligence and mobility.
Despite the recent disruption in the market, many CIOs placed relatively high emphasis on investing in enterprise resource planning, putting it ahead of storage, Voice over IP and customer relationship management in the Gartner survey.