CIO Global Survey: Disruptive Weather Ahead
CIOs like Michael Restuccia of Penn Medicine find themselves at a moment of opportunity. New business models and technologies — coupled with other C-level executives’ growing awareness of the importance of innovation — have created a watershed moment in which virtually all new business models rely on IT.
To learn how CIOs are aggressively driving their investments and initiatives, CSC recently conducted its sixth annual Global CIO Survey. The 2014 edition was produced in collaboration with IDG Research Services, which collected data via an online questionnaire in August and September 2014 from 590 senior managers with technology-related titles. Survey participants work in 23 countries on five continents for both private and public sector organizations of 250 or more employees. Respondents at larger companies — those with more than 3,000 employees — account for approximately 45 percent of the poll’s sample.
One pleasant surprise of the survey findings: After years of cost-cutting, IT spending is finally up. Nearly 65 percent of the survey respondents report higher IT spending this year, up from just 46 percent who said that last year (see Figure 1).
That’s true even in the stagnating national economies of Europe, where technology outlays are rising at 63 percent of polled organizations, marking an increase of more than 55 percent over the previous year (see Figure 2).
Much of this increased spending is being directed to the new, disruptive technologies, including cloud computing, big data and mobile. For example, more than 60 percent of respondents worldwide say they’re investing heavily in application modernization; in Europe alone, that figure rises to over 70 percent. Big data is receiving heavy investment from nearly 65 percent worldwide. Even the “Internet of Things” (IoT), still in its early days, is drawing significant investments from nearly half the respondents globally; in Asia, the percentage of respondents who say they’re investing heavily in IoT rises to 57 percent.
Best of all, CIOs say their increased IT spending is also driving business results. Of the polled IT leaders, 70 percent worldwide say big data is driving innovation at their organizations. Similarly, 67 percent and 60 percent, respectively, say the same of their spending on enterprise mobility and private clouds.
Still, the days of budget pressure are far from over. In fact, just over half the respondents worldwide — and 66 percent in North America — say one of their top impediments to innovation is budget constraints. Their top expenses? Salaries, IT production costs, licensing, and network and telecom costs.
The research also found that the role of the CIO continues to change. IT leaders are prioritizing initiatives that lay the groundwork for digital transformation and innovation (see Figure 3). Specifically, 70 percent of the survey respondents (and in Europe, nearly 80 percent) say that modernizing legacy applications is a critical or high priority for the next 12 months.
Still, the survey reveals that serious threats remain in the area of cybersecurity. Security was ranked the top technology priority by 82 percent of the survey respondents, making this the second consecutive year in which security placed so high. Overall, IT’s power to drive business innovation has never been more central. Smart CIOs will continue to cut operational overhead, establish closer and more collaborative relationships with their business counterparts, boost cybersecurity, and work with technology partners to enhance efficiency and harness the innovative power of IT.
View the complete results of the CSC Global CIO Report.