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CIOs under pressure in 2006 Gartner
si Team
Monday, January 30, 2006
A new survey of chief information officers (CIOs) by Gartner Inc. found that using IT to make improvements to a company’s business processes is the top priority for them in 2006.

Gartner’s annual survey of 1,400 CIOs worldwide found that business process improvement is the top priority for the next 12 months, followed closely by controlling operating costs, growing customer relationships and improving competitive advantage. Gartner surveyed CIOs in more than 30 countries that represented more than $90 billion in IT spending.

The report said boardroom executives expect IT to become more externally focused and play a significant role in business growth, a shift that will accelerate during 2006. It also said global IT budgets are expected to increase by an average of 2.7 percent in 2006. This compares to an increase of 2.5 percent in 2005 and represents a modest budget increase for the third consecutive year.

“The survey results make it very clear that business expectations of IT have changed dramatically and executives are expecting their CIOs to move beyond concerns about cost, security and quality to help grow the business,” Marcus Blosch, VP and research director at Gartner Executive Programs, said in the report.

But CIOs are still faced with having to make do with a continued budget constraints which means cutting costs and improving operating efficiencies will remain a high priority for IT chiefs in 2006.

The report highlighted business intelligence applications, security technologies, mobile workforce enabling and collaboration tools as the top technology priorities for the CIOs for 2006. In particular, spending on security-related tools will remain healthy with a projected increase of 4.5 percent.

Building IT business skills was also highlighted as a key task by almost three-quarters of the survey respondents with increased demand for management disciplines such as relationship and sourcing, process design and information design.
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