Information Lifecycle Management

Martin Veitch (Global) - Gartner Sees Thaw in IT Investing with Digital Spend Back on Agenda

Companies may be getting over the age of uncertainty and committing to bolder digital plans if new research from Gartner is to be believed. More than four to one plan to increase IT spending in 2013 and many are considering creating new roles to address opportunities.

The Gartner CEO and Executive Survey of almost 400 organisations around the world suggests that, despite the state of the macro-economy, companies are ready to invest in e-commerce, mobile, cloud and social technologies. However, the funds will not necessarily go to CIOs and other traditional IT leaders as spending gets spread across business departments but also to new categories of leader. Nineteen per cent of respondents said they expect to have chief digital officers by 2014 while almost as many (17 per cent) expect to see chief data officers.

“There is a full acknowledgment of the western world in recession but CEOs are saying ‘We don’t want to be dictated to by the economy’," said Mark Raskino, Gartner fellow. With grey areas over what would happen with the US election and fiscal cliff cleared or clearing, there is now more scope for reinvesting in business.

“I wouldn’t use the word 'bullish' but there’s a thawing and there’s a willingness to spend that cash pile we keep hearing about,” Raskino said. “Before, IT departments were being asked to secure and professionalise the technological capability of the firm through projects such as shared services, outsourcing or standardising ERP. But things like CRM and supply-chain management are done and there’s a belief that there are new things to be confronted with an entrepreneurial, leap-forward attitude to technology.”

If Gartner is right, times could be about to get challenging for CIOs that don’t meet the technology changes in the air.

“The CIO role is flat. CEOs are saying 'My next CIO needs to be more digital to grasp some of the opportunities'. They have to understand e-health, mobile commerce, customer experience management , e-commerce, business analytics, smart meters and cloud.”

Essentially, Gartner is saying there is a “growth agenda” being tabled by more companies but we've heard claims about new roles for innovation officers and the like plenty of times in the past, together with dark warnings over the role of the CIO. Is the researcher right or just whistling Dixie? All views appreciated…


Martin Veitch is Editorial Director of IDG Connect


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Martin Veitch

Martin Veitch is Contributing Editor for IDG Connect

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