Chief information officers (CIOs) will come under increasing pressure to perform in 2006 while they transform their IT organisations to become more externally focused, according to industry experts.
A worldwide survey of 1,400 CIOs by Gartner Executive Programmes found that executives now expect IT to play a "significant role in business growth and competitiveness", a shift that is expected accelerate this year.
The survey found that worldwide IT budgets are expected to increase by an average of 2.7 per cent in 2006. This compares to an increase of 2.5 per cent in 2005 and represents a modest budget increase for the third consecutive year.
Growth is on the CIO agenda as IT budgets at companies planning to grow faster than the market are increasing by an average of 4.8 per cent.
"The survey results make it very clear that business expectations of IT have changed dramatically, and executives are expecting their CIOs to move beyond concerns about cost, security and quality to help grow the business," said Marcus Blosch, vice president and research director at Gartner Executive Programmes. "Last year saw the beginning of a transformation that is intensifying in 2006."
As a result, the analyst firm found that business process improvement, essentially making a company easier to do business with, is the top business priority for CIOs for the second consecutive year.
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