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Gartner Survey of CIOs in Asia Shows Cloud Computing Tops the Technology Priority List as Businesses Focus on Growth in 2011

 Under pressure to support the acquisition of new customers and expansion into new markets, CIOs in Asia continue to look at new 'lighter weight' cloud technologies to support business growth, according to the Asian results of the 2011 Gartner Executive Programs (EXP) CIO Agenda survey. Leading the CIO’s technology priority list this year are cloud computing, IT management and mobile technologies.

“2010 saw many economies around the world move from recession to recovery, with enterprises transitioning their strategies from cost-cutting to productivity,” said Terick Chiu, executive partner, Gartner Executive Programs. “In Asia, the priorities are slightly different as we have not been climbing out of recession, but increasing growth. However, this year we are more closely aligned with our global counterparts as recovery continues.”

“The push for growth in 2011 is leading to a change in emphasis,” said Mr. Chiu. “IT-enabled business transformation, or what we call digitalization is accelerating. IT is now recognized by business leaders as a key lever for growth and productivity. As a result, CIOs and their teams must become more business savvy, focusing on business enablement, broader risk management and economic and finance issues.”

CIOs in Asia reported an average IT budget increase of 10 percent over 2010, significantly better than the nominal 0.9 percent worldwide average increase. In Asia, 53 percent of CIOs expected an increased budget to work with this year, compared to 39 percent globally, 31 percent said their budget would remain flat (compared to 45 percent globally), while 16 percent of CIOs both in Asia and worldwide reported that their budget would decrease from 2010 levels.

“As CIOs take advantage of new technologies and priorities, they see a future based on more than provisioning technology solutions and services,” Mr. Chiu said. “In the future they envision, IT contributes to enterprise results rather than being limited to managing IT resources. Realising this future requires a fundamental shift in the focus of IT.”

Top 10 Business and Technology Priorities

The business and technology priorities of Asian CIOs are strongly aligned with their global counterparts, with a few notable differences.

Top 10 Business Priorities

 Asia Rank

Global Rank

Top 10 Technology Priorities

AsiaRank

Global Rank

Attracting and retaining new customers

1

2

Cloud computing

1

1

Increasing enterprise growth

2

1

IT management

2

4

Improving technical infrastructure

3

7

Mobile technologies

3

3

Expanding into new markets and geographies

4

-

Virtualisation

4

2

Creating new products or services (innovation)

5

4

Business intelligence

5

5

Improving enterprise efficiency

6

8

Infrastructure

6

9

Increased use of information/analytics

7

-

Business Process Management (BPM)

7

-

Improving business processes

8

6

Data management

8

-

Enhancing sales and marketing

9

-

Enterprise applications

9

-

Implementing and updating business applications

10

5

Collaboration technologies

10

8

Reducing enterprise costs

-

3

Networking, voice and data communications

-

6

 

 

 

Web 2.0 / social media

-

10

Source: Gartner Executive Programs (2011)

Reducing enterprise costs did not make the top ten list for CIOs in Asia, but ranked number three on the list worldwide. CIOs in Asia need to support their organisation’s desire to expand into new markets and geographies, but this did not feature on the priority list of their global counterparts. Many CIOs in Asia are still building out technical infrastructure and analytics, while these were not priorities for CIOs elsewhere.

“CIO technology priorities reflect a transformation in infrastructure, and the ‘cloud’ is dominating CIO plans and attention,” said Mr Chiu. “Consumer-oriented IT, information access by external partners, plus cloud and software-as-a-service will require new IT architectures and reshape the IT industry.”

There is some indication that Chinese companies will "leapfrog" some technologies, for example, by moving more directly to mobility- and services-type models. Gartner believes that this means technology companies seeking success in China will grow based on the reach of their channel, rather than expanding with existing customers.

A lower proportion of CIOs in Asia (33 percent) compared with their global counterparts (44 percent) felt that there was a “very strong connection” between their IT strategies and the strategic priorities of their organisations.

About the 2011 CIO Agenda Survey

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 more than US$160 billion in corporate and public-sector IT spending across 50 countries and 38 industries. The 2011 survey included 51 CIOs from China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. The Gartner Executive Programs report "Reimagining IT: The 2011 CIO Agenda" represents the most comprehensive examination of business priorities and CIO strategies.

About Gartner Executive Programs

Gartner Executive Programs comprises exclusive, membership-based organisations of 4,300 CIOs and IT executives worldwide. Members enjoy Gartner services delivered in their context, actionable insight and resources focused on CIO-level challenges, and the shared knowledge of peer communities both inside and outside their industries. Additional information about Gartner Executive Programs can be found on Gartner's website at www.gartner.com/exp.

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