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Brainstorm CIO Survey 2014

Like the Oscars or the Emmys, ITWeb hosts an annual Brainstorm CIO Survey. It’s not about awarding winners and giving out trophies to the sound of applause. Rather, the survey is more like a pageant of reflection where industry analysts come together to announce the biggest potential improvements for the coming year.

The Nominees

This year, the top insights revolve around (you guessed it) business misalignment and lack of budgetary priority towards IT innovation. Additionally, speed of execution, budget size, and a growing skills gap were part of CIO’s biggest concerns.

Bad Budget Blockbusters

Innovation is the leading priority of almost no one, according to the survey (a whopping 1%). And the majority of IT budgets were unable to outpace inflation for the 2014 fiscal year.

Richard Hurst, senior analyst of enterprise services at Ovum, said CIOs find themselves between a rock and a hard place. “Budgets are under pressure while CIOs are looking to deliver on all these promises.”

Insourcing is the popular trend within most IT categories with the exception of infrastructure and connectivity, a spending split still staunchly entrenched between operations and business development.

Innovation Underdogs

The general consensus is that CIOs are so busy holding the organization together that they fail to see their near prophetic influence in the grand scheme of innovation and technological change:

George Ambler…business development director and executive partner at Gartner, says he was caught by surprise by the innovation finding. “If the CIOs aren’t doing it, then who? Globally we know budgets are flat, but my view is that if you’re not innovating, I’m not going to give you budget. Budget follows innovation.”

The Worst Criticism

Not surprisingly, 30% of CIOs believe IT is viewed as a cost center by businesses, rather than a strategic partner – the never ending quest for alignment continues! Another interesting find is that, while IT outfits cite skills acquisition as a high priority, few are taking action to secure the much needed talent.

In light of all these challenges, and regardless of how their performance is perceived by researchers, some would say the CIO deserves an award just for being the CIO.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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