Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Study Reveals Midmarket CIOs Look to Business Analytics to Drive Innovation and Growth

A new global study of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) by IBM reveals that the top strategic technology investment over the next five years at outperforming midsize organizations is business analytics, with cloud computing emerging as the fastest growing technology area for CIOs.

Today, 83 percent of midmarket CIOs surveyed identified analytics, the ability to extract actionable insights from "Big Data" as their top-priority investment area, while there was a 50 percent increase in the number of midsize organizations that plan to invest in cloud computing, compared to IBM's 2009 midmarket CIO study.

Midsize businesses together with small enterprises are responsible for nearly 65 percent of the global GDP, representing more than 90 percent of all businesses and employing over 90 percent of the world's workforce. The IBM study looked at what constitutes the fundamental tasks of the CIO and what traits define the outperforming CIOs as they infuse technology into products, services and processes to transform their business, drive profitability and expand into new areas.

Both CEOs and CIOs in the midmarket are braced for continued volatility. This year, technological factors emerged among the top three concerns for CIOs, in addition to the market factors and macroeconomic factors that they cited in the 2009 survey. These three concerns are equally shared among CEOs at midsize companies surveyed earlier this year.

CIOs are looking to invest in technologies such as analytics and data mining that not only help them better utilize structured data, but also unstructured data in the form of videos, blogs and tweets that can be obtained through the social web.

The Shift to Cloud and Mobile Computing

The technology area that has grown most as a top priority area for CIOs in the midmarket in the past two years is cloud computing. In fact, CIOs are now 50 percent more likely to pursue investments in cloud over the next three to five years to take advantage of the flexibility and cost effectiveness of using hardware and software resources offered through the cloud.

Trends such as the explosive growth of internet-connected devices and smart phones are driving CIOs to consider more powerful ways to harness mobile applications that drive commerce, better collaboration and enhanced workforce mobility. According to the study, the percentage of CIOs who now plan to invest in mobility solutions, including smart phones and mobile applications, jumped by 11 percent over 2009, to 72 percent.

Top trends from the CIO Study:

-- Midmarket CIOs are focused on gaining deeper insight and intelligence (77 percent), people skills (68 percent) and client intimacy (67 percent) over the next five years.

-- 72 percent of CIOs at midsize organizations are focused on integrating business and technology to drive innovation.

-- CIOs of midsize companies are harnessing the following tools and methods to turn data into actionable information: data warehousing (64 percent), visual dashboards (64 percent), master data management (63 percent), client analytics (63 percent).

More information on CIOs and analytics can be found at www.CRMindustry.com.

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