The top 10 tech priorities of CIOs

Annual Gartner survey shows IT budgets are flat globally, declining in North America

Analytics and business intelligence will be the top technology priorities for CIOs this year, according to Gartner Inc.'s annual survey of IT executives.

The second most important technology in the survey is mobile, said Gartner, which asked 2,335 CIOs globally about their business and technology priorities for the year ahead. The CIOs, who were surveyed in the fourth quarter of 2011, control $321 billion worth of IT spending in 45 countries.

The survey also found that IT budgets globally will be essentially flat, but with much variation regionally.

In North America, IT budgets will decrease 0.6% compared to 2011, even as they rise by 12.7% in Latin America. The Asia/Pacific region will see a 3.4% increase this year, while Europe is expected to be down by 0.7%. According to Gartner larger organizations are the ones that have been cutting.

Gartner's full list of CIO tech priorities shows that priorities have shifted some in the past year. Here's the list, along with information on where the topic was ranked last year.

  1. Analytics and business intelligence. (Last year's rank: 5)
  2. Mobile technologies. (Last year: 3)
  3. Cloud computing, including SaaS. (Last year: 1)
  4. Collaboration/workflow technologies. (Last year: 8)
  5. Legacy modernization.
  6. IT management. (Last year: 4)
  7. CRM
  8. ERP applications
  9. Security
  10. Virtualization. (Last year: 2)

The survey also looked at business priorities and ranked them as well.

From last year to this year, there was no change in the top three priorities: Increasing enterprise growth was first, followed by attracting and retaining new customers, followed in third place by reducing costs.

"Present economic conditions may tempt CIOs to force IT back into cost-cutting mode, but senior executives expect technology -- and this includes IT -- to address the tough challenges by amplifying enterprise strategies and operations," said Gartner analyst Mark McDonald, in a statement.

Last year's survey by Gartner found that CIOs felt they were losing control of IT spending to CFOs.

Patrick Thibodeau covers cloud computing and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed . His e-mail address is pthibodeau@computerworld.com.

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