Recently, the Wall Street Journal (“Journal Report: CIO Network, Feb 11, 2014”) held a conference for Chief Information Officers and polled them on various matters related to their work. Since CIOs set the trends for industry from within mostly larger companies, it says a lot about what’s ahead for smaller businesses in technology. We thought we’d explore a few key findings today, since they will likely affect many of us, probably sooner than later.
The first noteworthy observation was this: By far, the number one “highest priority” – cited by 40% — was “Business Intelligence / Analytics”. Their other top concerns, all roughly equal but significantly behind BI, were… ERP, infrastructure, cloud, and mobile trends.
The second noteworthy observation: More than 50% will spend more than last year on technology, and another 33% will spend the same. Only 13% will spend less than in 2013.
The third noteworthy observation (and this is coming from companies with a global reach): That “over the next two to three years the biggest growth opportunities for my company are in”… the U.S. – cited by fully two-thirds of respondents.
The clear takeaway conclusion: Companies will be spending at least as much, if not more, on IT; they will focus on national / local growth; and Business Intelligence and analytics – drawing meaningful conclusions from their data – will dominate the discussion for the foreseeable future.
While we’re sharing their thoughts, here are a few more:
On “the cybersecurity threat” their 4 top recommendations were:
- Companies should work with the government to adopt the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) security framework.
- Create a public-private partnership to build a fast-acting notification system for institutions that are hacked, with no punitive measure against those reporting the breach.
- Ask prosecutors to aggressively pursue cyber criminals with tougher penalties.
- Establish a global alignment of international standards for cybersecurity.
And finally, on “the data dilemma” they recommend:
- Build a data driven culture that can be driven back into business units. Make that data easily accessible and available.
- Invest in data talent through funding of educational programs and open collaboration.
- Make data actionable: use “insight-driven strategy to drive customer and operational outcomes.” Real-time insights that are accessible to all users are again the key.
- Replicate and build on success. Avoid “build it and they will come strategies” in favor of hypothesis-driven initiatives to “establish base line capability, then build value.”
These are today’s business technology leaders’ key priorities. What are yours?