CIO survey uncovers collaboration agenda: Gartner

The global drive to adopt SharePoint has helped Collaboration technologies/Workflow jump ahead four places in the technology priority list for CIOs in Gartner’s annual CIO Agenda survey for 2012.

The annual global survey of 2300 chief information officers found Collaboration technologies/Workflow had moved from 8th to 4th place. Analytics/business intelligence was the top-ranked technology for 2012 (see Table below) as CIOs are combining analytics with customer relationship management, content management and social media 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.

The Gartner survey asks CIOs to nominate what their top three technologies are for a given year.

“In looking at those responses we found that CIOs see collaboration and workflow technologies are related enough to put them in a combined category,” said Mark McDonald, group vice president for Gartner Executive Programs and Gartner Fellow. 

“Some see collaboration as workflow automation, for example. Things like SharePoint are in the collaboration category.

“We have a separate category of technologies for when the CIO mentioned business process management that is distinct from these two groups.  We split out document management separate from collaboration tools for the reason that CIOs were mentioning and applying document management in other contexts than just collaboration — think compliance for example.” 

While the global average IT budget increase expected by CIOs in 2012 is flat (0.5 percent increase), in Asia Pacific IT budgets are expected to be up by 3.4 percent in 2012.

"Technology's role in the enterprise is increasing. This does not mean, however, that the role of the IT organisation is increasing," said McDonald.

"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."

"In the face of continued economic uncertainty and government austerity, business strategies call for a combination of growth and operational efficiency. 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," McDonald said.

"Present economic conditions may tempt CIOs to force IT back into cost-cutting mode, but senior executives expect technology — and this includes IT — to address the tough challenges by amplifying enterprise strategies and operations."

Top 10 Technology Priorities 2012 2011
Analytics and business intelligence 1 5
Mobile technologies 2 3
Cloud computing (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS) 3 1
Collaboration technologies (workflow) 4 8
Virtualization 5 2
Legacy Modernisation 6 7
IT Management 7 4
Customer Relationship Management 8 18
ERP Applications 9 13
Security 10 12

Source: Gartner Executive Programs (January 2012)