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Monday, January 23, 2006

CIOs Line Up Top Issues in ‘06

Leveraging IT to help grow their company’s business tops the agenda for Chief Information Officers, according to a survey of some 1,400 CIOs just released by Gartner.  While such core issues as security and cost controls remain a concern for CIOs, the Gartner study revealed that making their businesses easier for customers to deal with by improving business processes is a top business priority for the second consecutive year.  Controlling enterprise operating costs and security technologies ranked second among the CIO’s ranking of top ten business and top ten technology priorities respectively.

“The interesting point is to note how technology issues go through a cycle where it’s assumed to be part of the core technology, Mark McDonald, group vice president and head of research for Gartner’s Executive Programmes unit told

Perhaps indicative of a certain healthy paranoia, two thirds of CIOs believe their competitors make better use of information.

Seven out of ten survey respondents said they need to build new business skills in IT focused on delivering business results.  “CIOs who are doing this effectively today enjoy a deeper business relationship, report to the CEO, and play a greater role in strategy formulation and major decisions,” said McDonald.  “The distinctions between companies using technology effectively and those that do not are becoming clearer for the CIO and for the business.”

Although business concerns over security breaches and disruptions fell from second last year to the seventh highest ranked priority for this year, Gartner said it remains an important issue.

“It indicates that in 2006 the business expects IT to be secure and is looking to the CIO to keep it that way,” said Marcus Blosch, vice president and research director at Gartner EXP.

Overall, the survey found that IT spending on security related tools remains healthy at a projected average increase of 4.5 percent in 2006.

Posted on 01/23