CIOs in the UK and Ireland are finding that over 21 percent of IT investment is happening outside their official IT budget owing to the rise of 'shadow IT', according to research by Gartner.
The findings come from the analyst firm's latest report, Global Perspectives on Flipping to Digital Leadership: The 2015 CIO Agenda, which surveyed 2,800 CIOs in 84 countries.
The report indicated that CIOs around the world must deal with high levels of uncertainty, differing greatly at regional and country levels.
For example, CIOs in China are benefiting from an IT budget increase of 8.5 percent, way above the global average of 1.1 percent. However, budgets in China have traditionally been lower than elsewhere so the increase is coming from a lower base.
Conversely, CIOs in the US report an IT budget increase of just 0.9 percent for 2015, although only one in eight is facing an actual cut in budget.
However, perhaps the most striking figure comes from the UK and Ireland, where a positive economic outlook means that CIOs expect to see IT budgets increase by 1.4 percent this year.
But there is also an increasing amount of investment in IT occurring across the enterprise in the UK and Ireland, Gartner found.
More than 21 percent of IT investment in the region is taking place outside the official IT budget, most likely in the form of so-called 'shadow IT' where workers sign up for online services to get around shortcomings in the services available from their own IT department.
CIOs in the UK and Ireland also show a progressive attitude towards what Gartner terms 'smart' technologies, i.e. sensors, maker machines (3D printing), augmented humans, robotics and thinking machines.
Despite the exotic nature of some of these, Gartner claimed that a significant minority of CIOs here are moving beyond monitoring the trends to actively investing and deploying solutions, especially in the fields of robotics and the Internet of Things.
Gartner also predicts that leading CIOs will spend less than 40 percent of their time this year running the IT organisation, choosing instead to spend time with other executives (27 pe cent of their time), business unit leaders (18 percent) and external customers (16 percent).
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