CIOs believe that customer engagement is one of the areas that is ripest for technology innovation, and yet social media barely figures among their technology priorities for 2012.
That was one contradictory finding of Gartner’s most recent CIO Agenda Survey. The analyst company surveyed 2,335 CIOs from around the world about their business and technology priorities for the coming year.
IT projects associated with customer engagement and improving products and services were identified by CIOs as having the most potential for technology innovation. However, the survey also found that social media – one of the technologies most directly linked to customer engagement – was 11th in the list of priorities.
“This inconsistency suggests that CIOs may be focusing on their big, legacy IT assets, rather than what’s strategically most important for their business,” said VP and Gartner fellow Dave Aron of the finding. “Social media was extraordinarily low on the list, and that’s way out of whack with what’s going on in the world.”
The number-one business priority was increasing growth, followed by attracting and retaining new customers. Analytics and business intelligence rose to the top of the technology priority list, having dropped off the top spot two years ago.
“There has been a recognition of the importance of [BI and analytics] at senior level,” said Aron. “In the past, only CIOs were interested, but boards are buying into it now.” The survey found that global IT budgets are likely to be “essentially flat” in 2012, falling 0.7% among Western European organisations. “This means that while there are lots of new and exciting things to do, CIOs need to engage in some creative destruction to make space in their budgets,” Aron explained.