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Tuesday, March 09, 2004

CIOs Say Security Is Top Priority

Chief information officers (CIOs) at enterprises worldwide remain cautious about boosting their technology spending, and the money they do spend will concentrate on security and business intelligence, said a survey released Tuesday.

In the survey of more than 950 CIOs from organizations in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia/Pacific, the Middle East, India, and South Africa, Gartner EXP found that the corporate heads of IT anticipate a technology spending increase of just 1.4 percent during 2004.  About 40 percent believe that this increase won’t happen until the second half of the year.

“Even though the global economy is on the up-turn, CIOs still show a lot of caution,” said Marcus Blosch, a vice president and research director for Gartner EXP.  “They’re being very conservative, laying down the foundations of growth, but not aggressively pushing for it.  “Call it a shifting of gears,” he added, “from a dampened mode to a growth mode.”  Global IT spending won’t substantially increase, he added, until CIOs are confident that the recovery is real, and sustainable.

Among the priorities that the CIOs outlined to Gartner EXP, the top one in 2004 will be security, which held the number two spot last year.

“Anything to do with security, data security management, and data privacy and protection will get emphasized by CIOs this year,” said Blosch.  With purse strings still tight, CIOs will fight to spend on BI, he said, because “they think that it will help them understand their markets and customers much better. 

And the hot-button issue of outsourcing—hot at least with voters and lawmakers in the U.S.—will only get hotter, as CIOs continue to press for lower costs, which leads them to shift services overseas.  “Outsourcing is set to continue, and grow quite significantly,” Blosch concluded from the survey.  “But while it’s a key initiative in many companies, business process outsourcing remains a bit of a blind spot for many CIOs.”

Rising spam levels are beginning to test the technology we had implemented. It’s out of hand, and implementing a successful solution is a top-5 IT priority for us.

Posted on 03/09