Accelerating business growth top priority for Irish CIOs as they look to digital future - CIO Survey 2012

9 October 2012 - IT business alignment improves significantly as CIOs lead digital transformation • Shortage of appropriately skilled IT staff • Significant rise in use of mobile applications and social media

Enabling accelerated business change and growth is now the top priority among Irish CIOs, according to the findings of the fourth annual CIO survey by Deloitte. The findings also show that 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.

In terms of recruitment, 44% of CIOs indicated that they are currently recruiting for IT staff. However, of those that are recruiting, 84% of respondents indicated that they are struggling to fill both graduate and experienced hire positions.

Continuing on from last year’s trend, the survey findings show that CIOs are increasingly optimistic with regards to IT budgets. While just over a quarter of respondents expect a budget decrease in 2013, 42% are predicting an increase. This time last year, 45% 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 which 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.

Harry Goddard, Partner, Consulting, Deloitte commented: “This is the greatest sea change in priorities that we have seen since the survey began. 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 the fact that CIOs have indicated that expected increases in budgets will be used to support the 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.

Enterprise mobile
60% of respondent CIOs indicated that their organisation has developed mobile applications in the last year, an increase of 20% on 2011. This growth has been entirely focussed on customer facing applications, with no growth in the development of employee-only facing applications. CIOs indicated that the top benefit of mobile applications was meeting customer expectations. This contrasts with last year when increased productivity and enabling new business

growth through employee mobility were cited as the main benefits.

Social media
In 2010, just 38% of CIOs indicated that they made use of social media. In 2012, this figure has risen to 73%. The primary use of social media is for customer interaction in the sales, marketing and support channels. Use of social media for internal collaboration ranks lowest, suggesting that social media is still not viewed as a core enterprise tool for knowledge sharing. Despite the growing prevalence of social media channels, just 68% of organisations indicated that they have a formal social media strategy in place.

Cloud computing
Last year’s survey found that adoption of cloud computing was relatively low. This year, 54% of respondents indicated that they now use cloud computing within their organisation, up from 38% in 2011. 77% 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%, followed by Infrastructure as a Service (41%). Three fifths of private sector respondents

use some form of cloud computing, while a quarter of those respondents in the public sector indicated that they are using cloud services. Of the respondents who are not currently using cloud computing within their organisations, 47% have plans to research it and 31% plan on trialling cloud over the next 18 months.

Further findings of the survey include:

  • 78% of organisations plan to introduce or increase their use of tablets.
  • Only 12% of organisations have a Bring your own Device (BYOD) policy,  while 23% plan on introducing one within the next 18 months.
  • 7% of respondents are actively using or implementing big data technologies. 39% plan to research it in the next year while 41% either have no plans to engage with it or do not believe it to be relevant to their organisation.

Goddard concluded: “Encouragingly CIOs appear to be at the heart of the digital transformation of their organisations, with the development of mobile applications and the use of social media on the increase. This again emphasises the pivotal role CIOs play in driving organisational strategy. More and more Irish CIOs are demonstrating the value technology innovation can bring. The overall sentiment that emerges from this year’s survey is a quiet optimism among CIOs with regards to the increased contribution they can make to their organisation’s future success.”

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