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Mobility and Business Intelligence Top Technology Priority List For Australian and New Zealand CIOs in 2012

Gartner Survey Reveals Focus on Growth, Cost Reductions and Customers As 2012 Budget Projections Remain Flat

CIOs in Australia and New Zealand view governance, compliance, regulation and security as the biggest barriers to IT, above lack of IT budget and resources, according to the Gartner Executive Programs 2012 CIO Agenda survey. Leading local CIOs’ technology priority list in 2012 are mobile technologies, analytics/business intelligence and cloud computing.

“Unlike the rest of the world, local CIOs seem more concerned with governance than money when it comes to delivering value from IT,” said Andy Rowsell-Jones, vice president at Gartner. “This is in part to do with having more money to spend than global counterparts, but they are also under pressure to use it wisely.”

Gartner’s latest annual survey of 2,336 CIOs worldwide, including 132 from Australia and New Zealand, was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2011 and represents CIO budget plans reported at that time.

CIOs in Australia and New Zealand reported an average budget increase of 1.3 percent over 2011, slightly higher than the nominal 0.5 percent worldwide average increase.

“While not sheep stations, it is positive to note that half the CIOs in Australia and New Zealand are experiencing budget increases in 2012,” said Mr. Rowsell-Jones. “Even growth of 1.3 percent is significant, which is enough to knock IT cost reductions from the number two CIO strategy worldwide, down to number seven locally.”

Just over two fifths (43 percent) of CIOs have a flat budget in 2012 and less than a tenth (7%) reported a cut.

Despite tough economic conditions and future uncertainties, business expectations in Australia and New Zealand have strengthened the CIO’s focus in 2012 towards growth and customer retention. The business and technology priorities of local CIOs are strongly aligned with their global counterparts, with a few small differences.

Top 10 Business Priorities

 ANZ Rank

Global Rank

Top 10 Technology Priorities

ANZ Rank

Global Rank

Attracting and retaining new customers

1

2

Mobile technologies

1

2

Increasing enterprise growth

2

1

Analytics and business intelligence

2

1

Reducing enterprise costs

3

3

Cloud computing

3

3

Managing and delivering operational results

4

5

Collaboration technologies

4

4

Improving efficiency

5

6

Virtualization desktop, server and storage

5

5

Creating new products and services

6

4

Legacy application modernization, upgrade or replacement

6

6

Improving enterprise leadership

7

-

Customer relationship management applications

7

8

Improving governance, compliance, risk and security

8

-

Enterprise resource applications

8

9

Implementing finance and controls

9

-

Content management applications

9

-

Attracting and retaining the workforce

10

8

IT management technologies

10

7

Source: Gartner Executive Programs (2012)

There appears to be a greater focus on customers in 2012, with attracting and retaining customers the top business priority. This is also reflected by the introduction of customer relationship management (CRM) applications into the top ten technology priorities.

"Despite the doom and gloom, there continues to be nuggets of good news in the survey data: not least they show enterprises haven’t given up; they are still fighting for new customers and revenue opportunities," said Mr. Rowsell-Jones.

While cloud computing and virtualization have slipped down the technology priority list in Australian and New Zealand to number three and five respectively, mobile technologies have pushed ahead to take the leading spot, as smartphones and tablet devices continue to transform into important business productivity tools.

After four years at the top of the technology priority list for CIOs in Australia and New Zealand, business intelligence (BI) slipped to number 7 in 2010, but has been climbing back up to the top ever since, appearing at number 2 in 2012. CIOs are combining analytics with other technologies to create new capabilities, such as 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.

“BI has had a chequered history in Gartner’s annual CIO survey,” Mr Rowsell-Jones said. “Is it new ideas, new tools, or the triumph of hope over experience that has propelled BI back into the limelight? We will find out over the course of the year.”

High on the list last year was networking, voice and data communications, reflecting New Zealand's nationwide Ultrafast Broadband and Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) rollouts. However, voice and data is no longer perceived as a top priority in 2012 in Australia and New Zealand now that the rollouts have begun and the hype has decreased.

The current tenure of CIOs in Australia and New Zealand averages 3.8 years, compared to the global average of 4.6 years. The survey also revealed that 24 percent of Australian and New Zealand CIOs report to the CFO in their organization, slightly more than the 21 percent with this reporting line globally.

About the 2012 CIO Agenda Survey

The worldwide CIO survey was conducted by Gartner Executive Programs in the fourth quarter of 2011 and represents CIO budget plans reported at that time. The survey includes responses from 2,336 CIOs representing more than US$321 billion in IT spending across 44 countries and 37 industries. The Gartner Executive Programs CIO Agenda represents the most comprehensive examination of business priorities and CIO strategies.

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 www.gartner.com/exp.

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