IDC’s Forecast for Management Survey analyses CIO perceptions on a wide-range of questions relating to IT expenditure, as well as priorities for the coming 12-24 months. The latest survey was undertaken in September 2009. Not surprisingly, cost reduction was the biggest challenge facing Australian and New Zealand CIOs as organisations tried to cope with the economic downturn in late 2008/2009.
Following concerns about the balance sheet, CIOs chose staff recruitment and retaining staff as their second-most prominent concern in 2009, leaping from fifth position in 2008. This was followed by meeting user expectations and acquiring new hardware/software. Rounding out the top five was aligning IT with business, which moved up from seventh position. This emphasises the need for partners to sell their technology products and services around a customer’s business pain points.
IDC also asked CIOs to share their top business or organisational priorities over the next 12 months. Improving infrastructure to increase productivity garnered the highest percentage of the votes (28.8%), followed by exploiting existing markets more effectively (19.4%). Controlling/reducing costs, introducing new or improved products and services faster, and improving customer service, were other factors expected to influence CIO decisions this year.
To meet these challenges, technologies and IT delivery methods that improve business performance and functionality while keeping costs down remain hot in demand. IDC highlighted virtualisation, software-as-a-service, managed services, cloud computing, IT outsourcing and IT leasing as strong offerings.
Information from this report was provided by analyst, Melissa Martin.
IDC: Facts and figures
4.4% - The percentage of CIOs who see industry sector expansion as the key priority in the next 12 months.
10.3% - Recruitment and retaining skilled staff was ranked as the second-most challenging issue facing CIOs in 2009. This was a massive leap from ninth position in the 2008 IDC survey, and is expected to be an even bigger headache for companies this year.
11.9% - The percentage of CIOs who see cost control and reduction as a key priority for the next 12 months.
18.6% - Systems infrastructure incorporting security, storage, networking, middleware and other technologies was predicted to be the top area of investment for 18.6% of CIOs surveyed in 2010. This outranked last year’s top priority, collaborative technologies and knowledge management, which dropped from 29.8% in 2008 to 13.9% in 2009.
25% - The amount of CIOs that made cuts to their IT budgets of staff during 2009.
28.8% - The percentage of CIOs who cited infrastructure improvement to increase productivity as their top priority over the next 12 months.
33.8% - Just over one-third of IDC’s respondents viewed IT as a source of competitive advantage.
58.2% - The amount of CIOs who believed IT contributed to the operational capacity of their business.
$45.1m – The total value of the business ICT market (hardware, services, software and telecommunications segments) in Australia in 2009, according to IDC. Of this, servers represented 31.1%, hardware 22.5%, software 13.8% and telecommunications 32.6%.
$51.8m – The total projected value of the business ICT market by 2013.