Deloitte has recently released the findings of its fourth annual CIO survey and the results make for positive reading. Firstly, enabling accelerated business change and growth is now the top priority among Irish CIOs and there has been a vast improvement in CIO perception of IT/business alignment. Seven out of ten CIOs now rate alignment as either good or excellent – a significant improvement on last year when only one in five CIOs rated alignment as good or excellent.
Continuing on from last year’s trend, CIOs are increasingly optimistic with regards to IT budgets. While just over a quarter of respondents expect a budget decrease in 2013, 42 per cent are predicting an increase. This time last year, 45 per cent of respondents predicted a decrease in their 2012 budget.
IT cost reduction, which was a key priority for CIOs in previous years, now falls not only behind business change but also security and compliance. Other areas that have fallen down the list of priorities include legacy systems replacement, IT portfolio management and desktop virtualisation. CIOs indicated that enterprise mobile and cloud computing are growing in importance in terms of their priorities.
Encouragingly, 44 per cent of CIOs indicated that they are currently recruiting for IT staff. However, of those that are recruiting, 84 per cent of respondents indicated that they are struggling to fill both graduate and experienced hire positions.
The shift in priorities and improvement in business alignment reflects a growing recognition of the important role that IT can play in business change and growth. Perhaps most encouraging is that CIOs have indicated that expected increases in budgets will be used to support change and growth agendas. The increase in IT budgets coupled with better IT/business alignment and the emergence of new technologies are leading to the digital transformation of organisations. CIOs must continue to push innovative and emerging solutions, including enterprise mobile and data analytics to ensure IT departments have a place in leading this transformation.
This year’s survey investigated CIO sentiment on a number of the emerging technology trends that are leading the digital transformation.
Sixty per cent of respondent CIOs indicated that their organisation has developed mobile applications in the last year, an increase of 20 per cent on 2011. CIOs indicated that the top benefit of mobile applications was meeting customer expectations.
In 2010, just 38 per cent of CIOs indicated that they made use of social media. In 2012, this figure has risen to 73 per cent. The primary use of social media is for customer interaction in the sales, marketing and support channels.
Last year’s survey found that adoption of cloud computing was relatively low. This year, 54 per cent of respondents indicated that they now use cloud computing within their organisation, up from 38 per cent in 2011. Seventy-seven per cent of respondents stated that the decision to adopt cloud-based services was IT driven. Software as a Service is the most popular cloud service, with an adoption rate of 72 per cent, followed by Infrastructure as a Service (41%).
Encouragingly, CIOs appear to be at the heart of the digital transformation of their organisations. This emphasises the pivotal role CIOs play in driving organisational strategy. More and more, Irish CIOs are demonstrating the value technology innovation can bring. There is a quiet optimism among CIOs with regards to the increased contribution they can make to their organisation’s future success.