Monday, March 9, 2009

Top Priorities of CIOs

By Mark Brousseau

Linking business and IT strategies is the top priority of CIOs in 2009, up from the second-highest priority in 2008, Colleen Graham said today at the Gartner Business Intelligence Summit 2009 in Washington, D.C. “Here’s where you can really see the impact of the economy coming out; it’s forcing CIOs to be more strategic and more focused,” Graham said, explaining the findings of Gartner’s survey of 1,500 CIOs.

Reducing cost is the second-highest priority of CIOs – up from the tenth most important priority last year, Graham said. The other key priorities of CIOs: projects that deliver growth; and attracting, developing and retaining IT personnel.

As for technology spending, business intelligence is the No. 1 priority. Conversely, a lot of organizations are looking particularly at hardware as an area where they can reduce cost in 2009, Graham said. “Organizations have to make some very tough choices about where budgets are going to be. They are not going up. They are going to be flat, at least for 2009 and maybe beyond.”

Out of the top 10 spending priorities identified by CIOs, document management comes in last, having dropped in priority ranking each of the past four years that Gartner has done the study.

Graham noted that the budget situation is very different today than it was 7 or 8 years ago. “We’re seeing more and more of the IT budget getting eaten up by nondiscretionary projects such as maintenance.

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