Cloud computing is the top technology priority for chief information officers (CIOs) in 2011, according to a Gartner survey published today.
IT budgets are due to rise by only one per cent overall, the survey of 2,014 CIOs revealed, and will drop by 0.4 per cent in EMEA.
The UK will be one of the worst countries hit by shrinking IT budgets, and reductions of up to 6.9 per cent are anticipated. Gartner does not see CIO IT budgets recovering to their 2008 peak until 2014.
Dave Aron, a Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst, told V3.co.uk that cloud computing has become a top priority in response to the constricted economics of running enterprise IT departments today.
"Cloud topped technology priorities globally, and this was confirmed when we asked how soon more than half of their business transactions would be conducted over IT platforms in the cloud," he said.
Some 43 per cent of respondents expect their company to transact over cloud-based IT platforms within the next two years.
Only three per cent already do so, while a further 31 per cent envisage that they will do so within the next five years. And 23 per cent said that this is unlikely to happen.
Even though nearly a quarter of the CIOs surveyed appeared to reject the prospect of cloud computing taking over more than half of IT-based business transactions, Aron believes that virtualisation, the second technology priority, is likely to be pushed out to every aspect of the IT estate faster than cloud because it is seen as more mature.
Mobile is third most important technology area.
"CIOs are very keen to do whatever they can in terms of reducing the cost and management time involved in maintaining IT infrastructures to help their businesses to win," he said.
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