Dubai, February 9, 2012 View All Press Releases

Gartner Executive Programs' Survey of CIOs in the Middle East and Africa Shows Continued Strong Growth of CIO IT Budgets for 2012, as IT Organizations Must Deliver on Multiple Priorities

Gartner Analysts Will Provide Insight and Advice at the Gartner CIO Leadership Forum 2012 to be held in Dubai, UAE on 27 28 February 2012 at the Raffles

Enterprises in the Middle East and Africa are ramping up IT spending to deliver on multiple priorities, as CIO IT budgets are expected to increase 14.3 percent, according to a global survey of CIOs by Gartner, Inc.'s Executive Programs.. This is in contrast with flat to declining IT budgets in North America and Europe.

The worldwide CIO survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2011, and it included 2,335 CIOs, representing more than $321 billion in CIO IT budgets and covering 37 industries in 45 countries. There were 98 firms from the Middle East and Africa responding to the survey representing $6 billion in CIO IT budgets. The Gartner Executive Programs report, "Amplifying the Enterprise: The 2012 CIO Agenda" represents the world's most comprehensive examination of business priorities and CIO strategies.

"Technology's role in the enterprise is increasing. This does not mean, however, that the role of the IT organization is increasing," said Mark McDonald, group vice president for Gartner Executive Programs and Gartner Fellow. "CIOs concentrating on IT as a force of operational automation, integration and control are losing ground to executives who see technology as a business amplifier and source of innovation. Effective leaders use technology, which includes IT, to strengthen the customer experience and eliminate costly internal distortions. They are using technology to 'amplify' the enterprise."

“Enterprises in the Middle East, particularly in the Gulf region, are building business capability in support of regional and global growth. As reflected in the 2012 CIO Agenda survey findings, effective leaders see customers as the key factor in both of these strategic components, with the customer experience their focal point in reconciling potentially conflicting goals," Mr. McDonald said.

CIO's increasingly see technologies such as analytics/business intelligence, mobility, cloud and social in combination rather than isolation to address business priorities. Changing the customer experience requires changing the way the company interacts externally rather than operates internally.

Analytics/business intelligence was the top-ranked technology for 2012 (see Table 1) as CIOs in the Middle East are combining analytics with other technologies to create new capabilities. For example, analytics plus supply chain for process management and improvement, analytics plus mobility for field sales and operations, and analytics plus social for customer engagement and acquisition.

Table 1

Top 10 CIO Business and Technology Priorities in 2012: Middle East and Africa

Top 10 Business Priorities


Top 10 Technology Priorities


Increasing enterprise growth


Analytics and Business Intelligence


Attracting and retaining customers


Mobile Technologies


Improving Efficiency



Cloud computing (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS)


Reducing enterprise costs


IT management technologies (Program, Project management, governance, change management)


Managing and delivering operational results


Enterprise Resource Applications


Attracting and retaining the workforce


Virtualization – desktop, server and storage


Increasing productivity


Business Process Management Tools


Improving business processes


Collaboration technologies (e.g. Workflow management, team collaboration)


Expanding into new markets or geographies


Customer Relationship Management


Improving marketing and sales effectiveness.


Legacy application modernization


Source: Gartner Executive Programs (January 2012)

Improving enterprise mobility capabilities is a significant focus over the next three years. Becoming a market leader in their industry is the most commonly stated strategy by the CIOs surveyed. There will be significant competition as everyone seeks to be "above average" in their industry.

Overall, CIOs rank growth as their top priority. CIOs in the region expect much of this growth locally as they report on average generating only 20 percent of their revenue outside their home country.

Meeting business expectations for increased growth, reduced cost or a transformed customer experience normally involves a significant increase in IT resources. In the global survey, 46 percent of CIOs reported that their CIO IT budget would increase from 2011 to 2012 in terms of actual spending. The average firm in this year's global survey will see a modest budget increase of between 2 and 3 percent.

"The 2012 Gartner CIO Agenda survey results show that CIOs believe that the customer experience is the greatest opportunity for IT-enabled innovation," said Mr. McDonald. "As business executives see the potential of technology to transform customer channels and the customer experience, their view of technology has leapfrogged conventional ideas of IT."

Technology is playing an increasing role in enterprise growth, innovation and operational performance while technology's definition now incorporates new combinations of traditional IT systems, consumer devices and their respective services.

"Applying technology as part of amplifying the enterprise reflects both the changing nature of business strategies, and executive expectations about the role of technology in realizing those strategies. Amplifying products, services and operations requires an enterprise to strengthen the customer experience and send clearer market signals," Mr. McDonald said. "Mobility, social media, information and analytics can be used to re-imagine the customer experience, as well as sales and service channels. These technologies do more than automate or administer processes; they are the processes and the sources of value."

Gartner Middle East CIO Leadership Forum 2012

Gartner analysts will discuss critical business, technology and leadership strategies at the 2nd Annual Gartner Middle East CIO Leadership Forum 2012 to be held in Dubai, UAE on 27 - 28 February 2012 at the Raffles. For further information about the Gartner CIO Leadership Forum, please visit:

 Journalists can register by contacting Sony Shetty, Gartner PR on +91 9820900036 or

 Additional information from the event will be shared on Twitter at and using and using #GartnerCIO

 About Gartner Executive Programs

More than 4,000 CIOs and senior IT executives are members of Gartner Executive Programs, an exclusive organization combining the shared intelligence of the largest IT executive community in the world with customized access to Gartner insight and resources. Executive Programs help IT executives and their teams grow their enterprises, fuel competitive advantage and operate more efficiently. Additional information about Gartner Executive Programs can be found on Gartner's website at


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