Dubai, February 8, 2011 View All Press Releases

Gartner Executive Programs Survey of CIOs in the Middle East Identifies Enterprise Applications, as Top Technology Priority for CIOs in 2011

Survey Results Show Business Leaders Looking for IT to Drive Revenue Growth. Gartner Analysts Will Provide Insight and Advice at the Gartner CIO Leadership Forum 2011 to be held in Dubai, UAE on 28 February - 1 March 2011 at the Raffles

CIOs must re-imagine IT to support growth and competitive advantage, based on the results from the 2011 CIO Agenda survey by Gartner Executive Programs (EXP). CIOs report that their organizations are emphasizing growth, in addition to continued vigilance on costs and operational efficiencies.

The worldwide CIO survey was conducted by Gartner EXP from September to December 2010 and represents CIO budget plans reported at that time. The survey includes responses from 2,014 CIOs representing over $160 billion in corporate and public-sector IT spending across 50 countries and 38 industries. The Gartner Executive Programs report "Reimagining IT: The 2011 CIO Agenda" represents the most-comprehensive examination of business priorities and CIO strategies.

CIOs’ IT budget projections for 2011 in the Middle East indicate a projected, weighted average budget increase of 6.7 percent. While CIOs do not report IT budgets returning to their 2008 (pre-recession) levels, 70 top CIO’s in the Middle East, representing 39 percent of IT spending, are expecting budget increases in 2011.

"Over the next five years, CIOs expect dramatic changes in IT as they adopt new technologies and raise their contribution to competitive advantage," said Mark McDonald, group vice president and head of research for Gartner Executive Programs. "Leaders will implement new infrastructure technologies to achieve increased efficiency and to redirect IT resources to create greater business impact. Pursuit of that leadership agenda will raise complex issues ranging from re-imaging IT's role in their organization to the creative destruction necessary to break old practices and redeploy resources to new initiatives."

A ranking of business strategies reported by CIOs in the Middle East (see Table 1) indicates that growth is a core expectation for 2011 and beyond. The move to growth appears to be more of a change in emphasis than a restructuring of business strategies and business expectations for IT, as prior top concerns for reducing enterprise costs and improving business processes remain important.

Table 1

Top 10 Business and Technology Priorities in the Middle East in 2011

Top 10 Business Priorities


Top 10 Technology Priorities


Increasing enterprise growth


Enterprise Applications


Attracting and retaining new customers


Cloud (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS)


Implementing business applications (tie)




Improving Operations (tie)


Business Intelligence


Improving Technical infrastructure (tie)


Network Technologies (Voice, Data, VoiP)


Reducing enterprise cost (tie)


IT management technologies (PPM, Testing, Governance)


Improving business continuity, security and risk management


Mobility technologies


Attracting and retaining workforce


Security Technologies


Improving business processes


Infrastructure Technologies (servers, storage)


Improving business continuity, risk and security


Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)


Source: Gartner EXP (January 2011)

Until recently, the average IT organization dedicated 66 percent of its budget to day-to-day operations leaving little room for transformation of business strategy. CIOs see the introduction of Internet service-based technologies as changing that equation and releasing between 35 to 50 percent of infrastructure and operational resources for innovation and growth. This is creating a new CIO success cycle, one based on creating and realizing new sources of value, in addition to cost-effective IT operations.

Additional information on the 2011 CIO Agenda is available on Gartner’s website at The site includes additional commentary from Mr. McDonald regarding this year’s findings, as well as information on becoming a client of Gartner Executives Programs and receiving the 2011 report.

The Gartner CIO Leadership Forum is an executive-only program, designed to explore critical business, technology and leadership strategies. The forum is designed to help CIOs and IT leaders deliver business value through IT. Gartner analysts will provide insight and advice on how to anticipate changes in the global economic climate identify and act on enterprise growth opportunities and deliver on expanding commitments with declining resources at the Gartner CIO Leadership Forum 2011 to be held in Dubai, UAE on 28 February - 1 March 2011 at the Raffles. For further information about the Gartner CIO Leadership Forum, please


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