Study: IT budgets up; CIOs worry more about globalization

Summary:According to a new survey by the Society for Information Management, CIOs, CTOs and senior IT executives say their companies and departments are pulling out of the recent economic slump, but are concerned about their ability to help their businesses.

CIOs, CTOs and senior IT executives say their companies and departments are pulling out of the recent economic slump, but are concerned about their ability to help their businesses.

New SIM survey unveils continued CIO angst

The 2010 IT Industry Trend Survey, commissioned by the Society for Information Management, covered 172 executives, and finds business productivity and cost reduction remain top business concerns, as was the case in the survey a year ago. “The insights from the study confirm that the economic downturn is continuing to cause a significant shift in IT priorities,” says Jerry Luftman, former SIM Executive VP and  IS professor at Stevens Institute of Technology. “It is essential to recognize how organizations are leveraging IT during this prolonged economic conundrum, as well as preparing for when the economy will improve.”

That preparation for growth may be underway -- in fact, IT executives seem bullish. Network World's Carolyn Duffy Marsan reports that the survey finds corporate IT budgets and salaries are up this year over last year and projected to grow again in 2011. About 65 percent said their IT budgets were the same or more than the previous year -- up from 48 percent a year ago. Seventy-three percent said this will be the case next year.

There's still more than enough CIO angst to go around, however. SIM measured the top 10 concerns keeping IT executives awake at night, noting some interesting shifts in worries, especially business agility and speed to market, which jumped from the No. 3 position to No. 2 in 2010.

Globalization, a new priority this year, was ranked as the No. 10 concern on the survey. The top four areas, including IT and business alignment – a perennial concern of IT leaders – received extremely high ratings.

The top 10 list of CIO concerns in SIM’s annual survey is as follows:

  1. Business productivity and cost reduction
  2. Business agility and speed to market
  3. IT and business alignment
  4. IT reliability and efficiency
  5. Business process re-engineering
  6. IT strategic planning
  7. Revenue generating IT innovations
  8. IT cost reduction
  9. Security and privacy
  10. Globalization

Respondents also said that virtualization and cloud computing were major new application and technology investments for 2010, while the most important application/technology continues to be business intelligence.

Luftman is also quoted observing a slight uptick in IT training budgets -- but not for technical skills. Instead, more resources are being devoted to interpersonal skills needed to interface better with the business: "presenting, writing, negotiating and marketing skills." he says.

Probably a direct response to item number 3 on the above anxiety list -- the need for more business-IT alignment.

Topics: CXO


Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. Joe is co-author, along with 16 leading industry leaders and thinkers, of the SOA Manifesto, which outlines the values and guiding principles of service orientation. He speaks frequently on cloud, SOA, data, and... Full Bio

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