There are considerable differences in the priorities of CIOs depending on the region, with North American CIOs concerned more with agility and less concerned with sourcing strategies, a survey by IT analytics firm Gartner revealed.
The worldwide survey of 2,339 CIOs was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2013, representing more than $300 billion in CIO IT budgets in 77 countries, and indicated issues experienced by CIOs are far from universal and real differences exist at both a regional and country level.
On a budgetary level, CIOs in North America report an IT budget increase of 1.8 percent for 2014. This means North American CIOs may have more room to maneuver than their counterparts in the European, Middle Eastern and African (EMEA) region, where the average IT budget is down 2.4 percent.
"The CIO survey results clearly show that as digital opportunities and threats pervade every aspect of business and government, the IT and digital agenda for each country, industry and enterprise is becoming more unique," Dave Aron, vice president and Gartner Fellow, said in a statement. "The way businesses and public-sector agencies use information and digital technologies is getting more entwined with their economic, regulatory and competitive contexts, as well as with the state of their business and digital maturity. Just as our businesses are unique, our digital footprints are becoming all the more unique."
In the use of the cloud, North American CIOs have a slightly larger focus on agility than their global counterparts and a slightly larger use of software as a service (SaaS), as opposed to infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS).
However, roughly one-quarter (26 percent) of North American CIOs report they have made significant use of public cloud offerings, suggesting the majority of North American CIOs still need to venture into significant public cloud usage.
In comparison, 61 percent of Chinese CIOs report that they have made a significant investment in public cloud, versus 25 percent globally.
In the world’s second largest economy, CIOs revealed a higher business focus on growth and innovation, and a significantly higher IT budget increase of 13 percent this year, far above the global average of 0.2 percent.
China also appears bullish on digital and cloud, with 39 percent of CIO respondents from enterprises in China identifying a C-level digital leader (such as a chief digital officer [CDO]) in their business, versus 7 percent globally.
"North American CIOs should be careful not to become complacent, and they should instead keep a constant focus on optimizing their sourcing mix, especially to ensure there is enough innovation," Aron said.