Your Priority Is Not My Reality
June 9, 2014 Dan Burger
Decision making is greatly influenced by clearly defined purpose and priorities. In certain professions the purpose and priorities may share a common thread. IT is not one of them. The latest survey and report from Gartner proves that point. It found that issues experienced by CIOs are seldom universal and differences exist within narrow geographies defined at regional and country levels.
You mean not everyone has cloud at the top of their priority lists? Not hardly. Cloud, according to the Gartner report, is one of the universally agreed upon priorities.
“The CIO survey results clearly show that as digital opportunities and threats pervade every aspect of business and government, the IT and digital agenda for each country, industry and enterprise is becoming more unique,” said Dave Aron, vice president and Gartner Fellow. “The way businesses and public-sector agencies use information and digital technologies is getting more entwined with their economic, regulatory and competitive contexts, as well as with the state of their business and digital maturity. This is a function of every aspect of every business becoming digital–every process, every employee, every business leader, every customer, every interaction, every moment. Just as our businesses are unique, our digital footprints are becoming all the more unique.”
Differing economic conditions create a less-than-level playing field, but it’s not always the main point of influence.
Here are some of the differences the Gartner report identifies.
Let’s start with China, where world events since the Gartner survey was conducted have IT vendors from outside the area wondering whether they will be expelled as policies dealing with spying have that lucrative market on the rocks.
To begin with, CIOs in China are focused on business growth and innovation, and they expect IT budget increases in the area of 13 percent this year. That could be a little high based on the trends I’ve been seeing, but nonetheless IT budget increases there would be expected to outdistance budgets everywhere else.
A more telling indicator is the statistic that at least 45 percent of IT spending is outside the IT organization, which demonstrates that IT budgets controlled by IT leaders are shrinking. At the same time, 61 percent of Chinese CIOs report they have made a significant investment in public cloud. Globally that percentage sits at 25 percent.
In the U.K. and Ireland, Gartner finds 28 percent of CIOs have invested in something defined as cloud. A bigger priority there is sourcing IT to providers outside the company. Nearly two-thirds of the survey respondents made this their priority. Cutting costs was listed as one of the primary reasons, although there are plenty of IT observers who say cost reduction may not be obtainable and business agility may be an easier target.
In the Latin American zone, there is a diminished concern concerning the inability to develop a skilled IT workforce. Only 26 percent of IT organizations place that as a top concern, compared to the global average of 42 percent.
That brings us to North America, the final geography in this peek into the Gartner research vault. Sixty-two percent of CIOs in North America are expecting to change technology and sourcing strategies in the next two to three years. If that seems to be a healthy number, it’s not. It is the lowest percentage in any of the major geographies. More than eight out of 10 CIOs in China, by comparison, expect to change their technology and sourcing approach in the next two to three years.
Gartner sells a more detailed analysis geographies, including a breakdown of industries, in a report titled 2014 CIO Agenda: Global Perspectives, which is available on the company’s website. This collection of 22 research documents leverages the 2014 Gartner CIO Agenda Survey in order to contextualize and clarify the behaviors and decisions facing CIOs in a diverse range of industries and geographies worldwide. The report is available on Gartner’s website.