After seeing their budgets shrink by 8.1 percent during the recession of 2009, CIOs will have their spending remain flat in 2010, staying at 2005 levels, according to the Gartner Executive Programs group. As CIOs look for ways to keep costs down while increasing results, they are turning to approaches such as virtualization, cloud computing and Web 2.0 social media technologies, Gartner says.
After suffering an 8.1 percent decline in their allowed IT spending in 2009,
CIOs will see a relatively flat 2010, putting their budgets on par with what
they had on hand in 2005, according to research company Gartner.
In a report issued Jan. 19, Gartner's EXP (Executive Programs) group found
in a survey of 1,586 CIOs that while there were some signs of economic recovery
as 2009 became 2010, those signs weren't enough to make up for the damage
wrought by the global recession.
Not surprisingly, the CIOs surveyed told Gartner that in the near term, they
were focusing on ways to keep costs down while at the same time trying to
improve business processes and take advantage of analytics in hopes of making
IT a larger business partner within their organizations.
"2009 was the most challenging year for CIOs in the corporate and
public sectors as they faced multiple budget cuts, delayed spending and
increased demand for services with reduced resources," Mark McDonald,
group vice president and head of research for Gartner EXP, said in a statement.
"This is set to change in 2010, as the economy transitions from recession
to recovery and enterprises transition their strategies from cost-cutting
efficiency to value-creating productivity."
Part of that transition means moving away from big IT solutions that are
owner-operated and more toward services, McDonald said.
"CIOs see 2010 as an opportunity to accelerate IT's transition from a
support function to strategic contributor focused on innovation and competitive
advantage," he said. "They have aspired to this shift for years, but
economic, strategic and technological changes have only recently made it
That's reflected in the top business priorities for 2010, according to
Gartner. Topping the list is improving business process, followed by reducing
enterprise costs, increasing the use of information and analytics, improving
enterprise work force effectiveness, and attracting and retaining new
On the technology side, the top of the list includes virtualization, cloud
computing, Web 2.0 social media technologies, networking, voice and data
communications, business intelligence, and mobile technologies.
Gartner pointed out that many of the top technology priorities, which also
include service-oriented applications and architecture, data management and
storage, security, and IT management, can be implemented quickly and without
high up-front costs. These solutions can cost thousands to implement, with a
payback in the millions, according to Gartner.
"These technologies, implemented properly, create the opportunity for
IT to change its role and the operational performance of the enterprise,"
McDonald said. "Asymmetric technologies like virtualization, cloud and Web
2.0 enable companies to get out from under a front-loaded heavy investment
model that limits IT's agility and flexibility."