CIO Technology Priorities for 2013

Recent research by Gartner, Inc. shows that the priorities of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) for 2013 are shifting toward customer-oriented and other externally-focused technology initiatives. The Gartner report, Hunting and Harvesting in a Digital World: The 2013 CIO Agenda, was based on a worldwide survey of over 2,000 CIOs working in 36 industries in 41 countries.

Here are the top 10 CIO technology priorities for 2013 identified in the Gartner research:

  1. Analytics and business intelligence
  2. Mobile technologies
  3. Cloud computing (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS)
  4. Collaboration technologies (workflow)
  5. Legacy modernization
  6. IT management
  7. CRM
  8. Virtualization
  9. Security
  10. ERP applications

What stands out to me here is that the top two priorities identified by CIOs were analytics/business intelligence and mobile technologies, both of which are (or should be) closely related to an enterprise’s marketing operations.

The Gartner survey also asked CIOs to identify their most important business priorities for 2013. The responding CIOs ranked “increasing enterprise growth” as their top priority for this year.

Taken together, these rankings suggest that CIOs now recognize that technology is a vital enabler of effective marketing and robust revenue growth. Research by the CMO Council supports this conclusion. In a CMO Council survey, 65% of CIOs said that technology now underpins and shapes the entire customer experience, 53% said that access to customer intelligence is critical to competitive advantage, and 40% said that reaching and engaging the market has become more digitally driven.

Laura McLellan, an analyst for Gartner, created quite a stir last year when she predicted that by 2017, chief marketing officers would be spending more on technology than CIOs. Whether or not you agree with McLellan’s prediction, it is clear that the focus of technology investment is changing. Most large enterprises have been using technology for years to help manage internal business functions such as finance/accounting, human resources, and manufacturing. These technologies are firmly established and relatively stable.

In contrast, the role of technology in marketing and customer experience management is more recent in origin, and the technological capabilities available are evolving rapidly. It should not be surprising, therefore, that these technologies are commanding the lion’s share of new investments or that CIOs now place them high on their list of priorities.

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Author:Jan Dejosse

CMO - ADAM Software

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