CIOs and finance people agree on IT priorities

30 Nov 2004

Chief information officers (CIOs) and chief financial officers (CFOs) are in closer agreement than ever before on the top priorities for expenditure, a survey commissioned by Computer Associates (CA) claims. The research shows that businesses are ready to start spending again, if the cost and return on investment justifications are clear.

The survey of 200 CIOs and CFOs by Coleman Parkes found that companies will dedicate IT investment over the next 12 months to projects that fulfill five key criteria: increasing the efficiency of technology used; focusing on customer service and retention; aligning technology in use with business needs; improving productivity across the business; and implementing systems to meet corporate governance.

The research spanned the utilities, financial services, government and retail sectors, and also uncovered relatively opposing views on whether core IT projects should be outsourced.

When CIOs and CFOs were questioned about their future plans, 44pc of CIOs said they would outsource key functions, while only 22pc of CFOs followed suit.

“By far the greatest value in IT investment at present is to spend on management software solutions that help companies to get more from what they’ve already got,” says Tony Martin, managing director of CA Ireland and UK. “The simple rule is that companies must be able to see what technical resources they’ve deployed throughout the organisation and how they are performing, before they can hope to manage their IT more efficiently.”

The survey reveals that 85pc of respondents are uncomfortable about the way technology services their business, and feel IT infrastructures could be better aligned with their business processes.

The need to improve the agility of businesses is the biggest driver amongst CFOs for IT infrastructure investment in 2004 and beyond. In fact, 98pc of CFO respondents cited “agility” as their prime motivator.

By John Kennedy