Over 50% CIOs do not realize IT’s business potential

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jan 16, 2013

digital world

There is a need to increase the business potential of a technology in the enterprise, according to a report based on Gartner’s global survey of CIOs. The analyst firm in its report titled: “Hunting and Harvesting in a Digital World: The 2013 CIO Agenda” believes that currently only 43 percent of CIOs understand a technology’s business potential and the number has to grow for IT to remain relevant in an increasingly digital world.

According to Gartner, in the last one and a half years, digital technologies including mobile, analytics, big data, social and cloud have reached a tipping point in the enterprise segment. While it is important to raise the technology’s business, it would also mean that CIOs need to rethink their existing IT strategies, create new plans and priorities in their IT budget this year.

“Digital technologies provide a platform to achieve results, but only if CIOs adopt new roles and behaviors to find digital value. CIOs require a new agenda that incorporates hunting for new digital innovations and opportunities, and harvesting value from products, services and operations,” said Mark McDonald, group vice president and Gartner Fellow.

McDonald adds that in such a scenario, it is concerning that around half of CIOs surveyed do not see IT’s enterprise role changing over time. “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,” he says.

The survey showed that CIO IT budgets have been flat to negative ever since the dotcom bust of 2002. Ten years down the line, in 2013, CIO IT budgets are projected to be slightly down, with a weighted global average decline of 0.5 percent. The worldwide survey was conducted in the fourth quarter in 2012 and included 2,053 CIOs, representing more than $230 billion in CIO IT budgets and covering 36 industries in 41 countries.

Digital technologies dominate CIO technology priorities for 2013. When asked which digital technologies would be most disruptive, 70 percent of CIOs cited mobile technologies, followed by big data/analytics at 55 percent, social media at 54 percent and public cloud at 51 percent. The disruptiveness of each of these technologies is real, but they see their greatest disruptive power coming in combination, rather than in isolation.

Gartner analysts believe that adapting to, and leading, in the digital world requires doing things differently, yet in ways consistent with the demands of digital technologies. CIOs need to make the case that mainstream emerging mobile, big data, social and cloud technologies justify revisiting IT budget and investment levels.

“Demands have increased in a world that has grown dynamic and digital. The harder CIOs work tended to current concerns, the less relevant IT became. CIOs should know that the future rests in not repeating the past but in extending IT by hunting and harvesting in a digital world,” concluded McDonald.