Blue Skies Are Gonna Cloud Up
May 23, 2011 Jenny Thomas
Not long ago, a prediction for cloudy skies was something we heard from our local weatherperson, and all it meant was you might want to keep an umbrella handy. But today’s cloudy forecast is courtesy of Big Blue, and, according to its new global study, those clouds are rolling in fast.
In a recent IBM survey of CIOs, 60 percent of organizations said they are ready to embrace cloud computing over the next five years as a means of growing business and achieving competitive advantage. This figure nearly doubles the number of CIOs who said they would utilize cloud in a IBM’s 2009 CIO study.
This latest study, titled The Essential CIO, was based on more than 3,000 face-to-face interviews with CIOs from diverse organizations in 71 countries, 18 industries, and organizations of every size. It was conducted over a four-month period from October 2010 to January 2011.
“As technology becomes both an enabler of competitive advantage and embedded in every facet of the enterprise, the role of the CIO has never been more essential,” said Jeanette Horan, vice president and chief information officer for IBM. “This study provides key evidence of how the capabilities of IT are aligning perfectly with the aspirations of business leaders. The winners will be those companies that understand the power of technologies like cloud, analytics and mobility, and can harness that power to transform their businesses.”
From a country standpoint, seven out of 10 CIOs in the U.S., Japan, and South Korea, and 68 percent in China, now identify cloud as a top priority. This number is way up from 2009, when CIO interest in cloud hovered at about a third in each of these countries.
The use of cloud computing and storage, which had its humble beginnings supporting deployments mainly outside of companies, is becoming more common inside of companies and linking organizations and their partners and customers. While simplification of internal processes was still identified as a driving issue for 80 percent of the CIOs surveyed, the IBM study also found that more than four out of five CIOs (83 percent) see business intelligence and analytics as top priorities for their businesses as they seek ways to act upon the growing amounts of data that are now at their disposal.
The chemical and petroleum industry led the way with 91 percent of CIOs citing business intelligence and analytics as part of their plan to increase competitiveness over the next three to five years. Nearly as many CIOs in the consumer products industry (89 percent), and healthcare industries (86 percent), as well as 95 percent of CIOs in South America (excluding Brazil) and Canada believed business intelligence and analytics would be their competitive differentiator.
Another hot button for the CIOs surveyed was mobile. Nearly three-quarters of CIOs (74 percent) said the proliferation of mobile devices is now seen by as a game-changer for their businesses, up from 68 percent from the 2009 survey. Mobility solutions were identified most in the travel (91 percent), media and entertainment (86 percent), and energy and utilities (82 percent) industries.
A wide array of innovative methods and tools are being sought to turn mountains of “big data” into information they can act on as they run their businesses. Methods cited for achieving that goal included master data management (68 percent), client analytics (66 percent), data warehousing and visual dashboards (64 percent), and search capabilities (59 percent).
None of this is shocking news to IBM, which has been preparing for the cloud invasion for some time. As we reported earlier this year, Big Blue created a new Cloud Computing Specialty group and business partners who become members will gain access to a wide range of IBM cloud computing marketing and sales resources to help them build, market, and sell cloud computing solutions.
The Essential CIO study offers recommendations, including strategic business actions and use of key technologies. You can get more information and download the complete 2011 study here.