Some interesting news about what CIOs think about the direction of IT these days has come out of the Society for Information Management’s annual survey of CIOs and IT executives.
First, IT leaders are not quite as concerned about IT budgets as they have been in recent years. That's dropped to number four on their list of concerns. The top management concern these days: “IT and business alignment,” followed by “business agility and speed to market.”
But what is “IT and business alignment”? It's a mantra that is repeated incessantly at conferences, in analyst reports and trade publications. Now IT budgets, there's a hard-and-fast, black-and-white concern. You either have it or you don’t. And when you get the budget you need, you celebrate and get back to work.
But “IT and business alignment” has always been a squishy, amorphous, feel-good term. How do you know when you get there? How do you know if you're even there yet? To paraphrase author Gertrude Stein, is there a “there” there?
On the budget front, things are getting much better and stronger. Eighty-five percent of the 275 organizations participating in the survey said their IT budgets will stay the same or increase in 2012 compared to 2011. A majority, 56 percent, expect budget increases. Meanwhile, 94 percent also said staff salaries will stay the same or increase in 2012. About 67 percent expect IT salaries to increase.
In terms of dollars invested, business intelligence has been the top tech investment in 2011, followed by cloud computing. Here is the top five list:
1. Business intelligence
2. Cloud computing
3. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems
4. Mobile and wireless applications
5. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Jerry Luftman, lead researcher for the SIM survey and a professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology, will present the complete survey findings at SIM’s annual conference taking place next month in Orlando.
Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.
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