Chief information officers say they are focused on achieving better results through such technologies as cloud computing and virtualization, according to the results of a new Gartner study of top CIO priorities.

Gartner, in releasing its 2010 survey of CIO priorities, noted that chief information officers have suffered through a difficult budget tightening period, with budgets essentially cut back to 2005 levels. It appears budgets will stabilize or grow slightly this year, according to Gartner, which  surveyed 1,568 CIOs, but it will take some time to overcome the recession’s damage.

“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, head of research for Gartner’s Executive Program group, said in releasing the survey. “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.”

In the near term, Gartner’s findings show that business expectations and CIO strategies appear to be in alignment.

There is a focus on business process improvement and reducing enterprise costs on the business side and the top technology priorities for CIOs – virtualization, cloud computing and Web 2.0 – are aimed at those goals.

“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,” McDonald said. “While enterprises will transition at different rates and times, every CIO faces the need to raise productivity, create new capabilities and use the recover to drive fundamentals of the current agenda and the repositioning of IT.”

The following are the Top 10 Technology Priorities for CIOs, followed by the Top 10 Business Priorities:

Top 10 Technology Priorities

  1. Virtualization
  2. Cloud computing
  3. Web 2.0
  4. Networking, voice and data communications
  5. Business intelligence
  6. Mobile technologies
  7. Data/document management and storage
  8. Service-oriented applications and architecture
  9. Security
  10.  IT management

Top 10 Business Priorities

  1. Business process improvement
  2. Reducing enterprise costs
  3. Increasing the use of information/analytics
  4. Improving enterprise workforce effectiveness
  5. Attracting and retaining new customers
  6. Managing change initiatives
  7. Creating new products or services (innovation)
  8. Targeting customers and markets more effectively
  9. Consolidating business operations
  10.  Expanding current customer relationships.


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