Gartner Executive Program Survey of More Than 2,000 CIOs Shows Digital
Technologies Are Top Priorities in 2013
Survey Highlights the Need for CIOs to Set Aside Old Rules and Adopt New Tools
STAMFORD, Conn. -- January 16, 2013
Enterprises realize on average only 43 percent of technology's business
potential, according to a global survey of CIOs by Gartner, Inc.'s Executive
Programs. That number has to grow for IT to remain relevant in an increasingly
The worldwide survey was conducted in the fourth quarter in 2012 and included
2,053 CIOs, representing more than $230 billion in CIO IT budgets and covering
36 industries in 41 countries. The Gartner Executive Programs report, "Hunting
and Harvesting in a Digital World: The 2013 CIO Agenda," represents the
world's most comprehensive examination of business priorities and CIO
Over the last 18 months, digital technologies — including mobile, analytics,
big data, social and cloud — have reached a tipping point with business
executives. Analysts said there is no choice but to increase technology's
potential in the enterprise, and this means evolving IT's strategies,
priorities and plans beyond tending to the usual concerns as CIOs expect their
2013 IT budgets to be essentially flat for the fifth straight year.
"Digital technologies provide a platform to achieve results, but only if CIOs
adopt new roles and behaviors to find digital value," said Mark McDonald,
group vice president and Gartner Fellow. "CIOs require a new agenda that
incorporates hunting for new digital innovations and opportunities, and
harvesting value from products, services and operations.
"In a world of change, it is concerning that around half of CIOs surveyed do
not see IT's enterprise role changing over the next three years," Mr. McDonald
said. "IT needs new tools if it hopes to hunt for technology-intensive
innovation and harvest raised business performance from transformed IT
infrastructure, operations and applications. Without change, CIOs and IT
consign themselves to tending a garden of legacy assets and responsibilities."
The survey showed that CIO IT budgets have been flat to negative ever since
the dot-com bust of 2002. For 2013, CIO IT budgets are projected to be
slightly down, with a weighted global average decline of 0.5 percent.
Digital technologies dominate CIO technology priorities for 2013. The top 10
global technology priorities revealed by the survey reflect a greater emphasis
on externally oriented digital technologies, as opposed to traditional
IT/operationally oriented systems (see Table 1).
Top 10 CIO Business and Technology Priorities in 2013
Top 10 Business Priorities Ranking Top 10 Technology Ranking
Increasing enterprise 1 Analytics and business 1
Delivering operational 2 Mobile technologies 2
Reducing enterprise costs 3 Cloud computing (SaaS, 3
Attracting and retaining 4 Collaboration 4
new customers technologies (workflow)
Improving IT applications 5 Legacy modernization 5
Creating new products and 6 IT management 6
Improving efficiency 7 CRM 7
Attracting and retaining 8 Virtualization 8
Implementing analytics and 9 Security 9
Expanding into new markets 10 ERP Applications 10
SaaS = software as a service; IaaS = infrastructure as a service; PaaS =
platform as a service
Source: Gartner Executive Programs (January 2013)
CIOs see these technologies as disrupting business fundamentally over the next
10 years. When asked which digital technologies would be most disruptive, 70
percent of CIOs cited mobile technologies, followed by big data/analytics at
55 percent, social media at 54 percent and public cloud at 51 percent. The
disruptiveness of each of these technologies is real, but CIOs see their
greatest disruptive power coming in combination, rather than in isolation.
"As CIOs continue to amplify the enterprise with digital technologies while
improving IT organizational structure, management and governance, 2013
promises to be a year of dual priorities," said Dave Aron, vice president and
Gartner Fellow. "Key CIO strategies identified in the survey reflect the
realities of these dual business priorities and confirm the need to expand
IT's ability to hunt for new opportunities and harvest current business value.
While CIOs recognize that IT's value contribution comes from delivering
business solutions, they also recognize that the prioritization and delivery
of specific results must change."
As needs and opportunities evolve, more CIOs will find themselves leading in
areas outside of traditional IT. In addition to their tending role, they are
starting to assume responsibility for hunting for digital opportunities and
harvesting value. Sixty-seven percent of CIOs surveyed have significant
leadership responsibilities outside of IT, with only 33 percent having no
other such responsibilities. This situation contrasts sharply with 2008, when
almost half of CIOs had no responsibilities outside of IT. Almost a fifth of
CIOs now act as their enterprise's chief digital officer (CDO), leading
digital commerce and channels. Although this nascent role varies in scope and
style, it normally includes championing the digital vision for the business —
that is, ensuring that the business is evolving optimally in the new digital
"IT cannot expect to secure additional funding without assuming new
responsibilities or producing new results," said Mr. Aron. "Reacting to
limited budgets by restructuring costs, outsourcing and doing more with less
made sense from 2002 to 2011, when the supply of innovative technologies was
scarce. Adapting to, and leading, in the digital world requires doing things
differently, yet in ways consistent with the demands of digital technologies.
CIOs need to make the case that mainstream emerging mobile, big data, social
and cloud technologies justify revisiting IT budget and investment levels."
"CIOs knew that doing the right thing required tending to IT by delivering
cost-effective quality services. CIOs and IT leaders managed cost, complexity
and risk to enable business operations in a world of managed stability," Mr.
McDonald said. "However, the world outside IT changed creating a quiet crisis
for IT. Demands have increased in a world grown dynamic and digital. The
harder CIOs work tended to current concerns, the less relevant IT became. CIOs
know that the future rests in not repeating the past but in extending IT by
hunting and harvesting in a digital world."
More-detailed analysis on the CIO agenda for 2013 will be presented in two
webinars. During these webinars, Mr. McDonald and Mr. Aron will outline the
results from the 2013 CIO agenda survey and the top business and technology
priorities for CIOs. The "Agenda 2013 — Implications for High-Tech Providers"
webinar will be hosted on February 5 at 11 a.m. EST. To register for this
complimentary webinar, please visit
http://my.gartner.com/webinardetail/resId=2299616. The webinar "New
Priorities, Technologies and Leaders Shaping the Future of IT" will be hosted
by Gartner on February 21 at 10 a.m. EST. To register for this webinar, please
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