CIOs' Top 5 Technology and Business Priorities for 2010

Recently, Gartner released its 2010 survey of chief information officers (CIO) priorities. The survey of 1,560 CIO's notes that "2009 was the most challenging year for CIO's in the corporate and public sectors as they faced multiple budget cuts, delayed spending and increased demand for services with reduced resources". Gartner also notes that "CIO's have suffered through a difficult budget tightening period, with budgets essentially cut back to 2005 levels", but Gartner predicts that budgets will stabilize or grow slightly this year.

Listed below are the top five technology and business priorities for 2010 in order of importance.

Top 5 Technology Priorities

  1. Virtualization
  2. Cloud computing
  3. Web 2.0
  4. Networking, voice and data communications
  5. Business intelligence

Top 5 Business Priorities

  1. Business process improvement
  2. Reducing enterprise costs
  3. Increasing the use of information/analytics
  4. Improving enterprise workforce effectiveness
  5. Attracting and retaining new customers

Collectively, the respondents indicate that there main focus is on business process improvement and increased use of information. Specifically, the use of business intelligence (BI) solutions, cloud computing and virtualization technologies. Additionally, the findings indicate that business expectations and CIO strategies appear to be in alignment.

Traditionally, technologies like virtualization and cloud computing have been used to enable organizations to get out from under a front-loaded heavy capital investment. Paradoxically, Business Intelligence solutions have traditionally required a front-loaded heavy capital investment (CAPEX) that can initially limit the agility and flexibility of both IT and the business. Additionally, given the cutbacks in organizational budgets, the only new funds available for IT investment and process improvement come from reductions in organizational costs, which are typically operational budgets (OPEX).

Gartner also notes that CIO's are prioritizing "technologies that can be implemented quickly and without significant upfront expense, instead of investing millions of dollars to get millions in benefits, with these technologies, up front investments are measured in thousands of dollars to get those same benefits."

Should CIO's and the business leaders be looking at BI as a Service to resolve the paradox?

What are your thoughts?

Link to Gartner Survey