Local CIOs have more influence on business strategy when compared with their global counterparts. In its first Global CIO Survey, IBM reports 77 percent of ANZ CIOs hold a seat on the senior management team, while only 54 percent have this kind of influence elsewhere.
IBM believes the report is the largest face to face CIO survey that has ever been documented, with more than 2500 CIOs interviewed from 78 countries, across 19 industries and organisations of every size. Locally, 129 ANZ CIOs participated in the survey.
The study, IBM says, reinforces the increasingly strategic role CIOs are playing as visionary and business leaders, and as drivers of innovation and financial growth.
As the role of the CIO itself transforms so do the types of projects they lead across their enterprises, meaning CIOs focus less time and resources on running internal infrastructure and more time on transformation to help their companies increase output and revenue, according to an IBM press statement.
“The study reveals that CIOs are making the biggest impact on their organisations business by engaging directly with the business, spending more time on innovation and by being active members of the executive team,” says Matt English, ANZ Smarter Planet Leader, IBM Global Business Services.
CIOs are building new business models such as smart grids and smarter transportation and are looking to apply technologies in new kinds of innovation for their companies. These findings are consistent with what IBM is seeing in the marketplace, around both standardised technology and new business models, says English.
Even as they build these standardised, low-cost infrastructures, CIOs are able to focus 55 percent (45 per cent for ANZ CIOs) of their time on activities that drive innovation and growth. The remaining 45 percent (55 percent for ANZ CIOs) is spent on essential, more traditional CIO tasks related to managing the ongoing technology environment; including reducing IT costs, mitigating enterprise risks and leveraging automation to lower costs elsewhere in the business. This confirms that CIOs are transforming their infrastructure to focus more on innovation and business value, rather than simply running IT, IBM says.
In the survey’s results, 85 percent of ANZ CIOs say they believe their customer and business partner relationships and integration will be key to success, while globally almost 68 percent of respondents agreed collaborating with partners will drive success.
The respondents identified the top visionary projects that they are working on now or foresee implementing in the future, ranging from process improvement to taking advantage of technologies that can provide immediate and long-term financial impact. The study also confirmed that CIOs are focusing on mobility applications and unified communications, collaboration and social networking tools, as well as Web 2.0 projects, to enable more effective communications for employees, customers and partners.
“The role of the CIO continues to change dramatically. Not only are CIOs trying to standardise routine processes and infrastructure, they’re working to implement technologies to drive innovation and growth,” English says.
On key ICT investments, the survey says virtualisation to gain a competitive advantage and improve efficiency is now the top priority for ANZ CIOs. Almost 98 percent of ANZ CIOs cited virtualisation as a prime tool to enhance r organisational competitiveness, compared with 77 percent of all CIOs surveyed. This was closely followed by 94 percent of ANZ CIOs who identified business intelligence and analytics as the next best way to enhance their organisation's competitiveness compared with 83 percent across the globe.
The study reveals that data reliability and security have emerged as increasingly urgent concerns, with 83 percent of ANZ CIOs planning to spend more in risk management and compliance, compared with 72 percent globally. Over a third - 39 percent - of ANZ CIOs view cloud computing as strategic and plan to implement it.
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