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Survey: CIOs say IT budgets on the rise

And 70% of them say they're happy in their jobs and not looking to move

By Linda Rosencrance
December 20, 2005 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - IT budgets are on the rise at U.S. companies, according to the 2005/2006 Harvey Nash USA CIO Market Survey, sponsored by Harvey Nash Group PLC and PricewaterhouseCoopers (download PDF).
"IT budgets are growing, and that's backed up by data in survey," said Bob Miano, president of Harvey Nash, a global recruitment company and provider of human capital management, outsourcing and consulting services. "And a lot of hiring is going on in the IT industry. When you increase budgets, you do more hiring."
According to the survey, a quarter of the CIOs and IT executives polled reported an increase in IT budgets of between 10% and 20%, while 13% expect budgets to rise by more than 20%.
"IT spending limited by recession has led to pent-up demand for operational improvements that's now being released," according to the Nash survey.
In addition, with spending on regulatory requirements such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act behind them, many CIOs indicated that their companies once again feel that they can afford to invest more in technology, according to the Nash survey.
Miano said one of the responses he wasn't prepared for was how satisfied CIOs are with their jobs.
"Some 70% of CIOs are happy and satisfied they are in their current jobs and they're not looking for other jobs," he said. "But to counterbalance that, a good percentage of them thought that in three years they would be working for some other organization as a result of mergers, acquisitions and so forth."
Security ranks as the top concern for CIOs at U.S. companies, Miano said. This is in contrast to their counterparts in the U.K., where security ranked third as a perennial concern, he said.
"The high U.S. ranking for security most likely stems partly from new regulations on information privacy, and partly from increased awareness of security threats that other global markets already seem to have some familiarity with," Miano said.
When it comes to outsourcing, just about every one of the CIOs surveyed said they are considering the idea, he said. "It's not a matter of outsourcing completely and supplanting our homegrown application developers, but it is another tool in the tool kit," Miano said. "The majority of CIOs consider that outsourcing has a time and a place to be used at some points in the organization. Outsourcing is here to stay."
Another major finding of the survey is that the role of the CIO is becoming more strategic, he said. "It used to be the business people who came up with the ideas, i.e., 'Can you automate something that can give methis kind of perspective or this kind of information?'" he said. "But now the CIOs feel they should be playing a more active role and going to the user community and saying, 'Hey, guess what I can do for you now that I understand your business needs,' and 'How we can move the business forward using technology?'"

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