Asian CIOs'focus on cost structure, people and processes reflects their increasingly integral role in the business, according to the 2012 Gartner Executive Programs (EXP) CIO Agenda survey.
Gartner Executive Programs group vice president for Asia Pacific Linda Price said the priorities of CIOs in Asia were becoming more closely aligned with those of their global counterparts.
"This is the first time that we've seen such a tight alignment and I think it shows that Asia and the rest of the world are becoming one," she said. "Globalisation is really having a huge impact on the global CIOs' view of business."
The business and technology priorities of Asian CIOs are strongly aligned with their global counterparts, with a few notable differences. Leading the technology priority list for Asian CIO's this year are business intelligence and analytics, mobile technologies and cloud computing.
Top 10 Business Priorities
Source: Gartner Executive Programs (2012)
Reducing enterprise costs did not make the top 10 business priority list for CIOs in Asia in 2011, but ranked number three on the list worldwide. Since then, however, it has become the third most important business priority in 2012. In line with this, Asian CIOs are also focused on consolidating, standardising and streamlining operations, but this did not feature on the priority list of their global counterparts.
Business intelligence and analytics increased in significance from fifth in 2011 to lead the priority list in 2012. This is largely due to CIOs combining analytics with other technologies to create new capabilities, such as analytics plus supply chain for process management and improvement; analytics plus mobility for field sales and operations; and analytics plus social for customer engagement and acquisition.
Customer relationship management applications were a new entry into the top 10 technology list this year, rising straight to fourth position. This supports the focus of Asian CIOs on attracting and retaining new customers in 2012.
CIOs in Asia reported an average IT budget increase of 5.4 percent over 2011, significantly better than the nominal 0.5 percent worldwide average increase. Fifty seven percent of CIOs in Asia expected an increased budget this year, compared to 45 percent globally; 28 percent said their budget would remain flat (compared to 36 percent globally); while 15 percent of CIOs in Asia and reported that budgets would decrease from 2011 levels, compared with 19 percent globally.
"Europe and America are going into a very difficult period and our view is that more companies are decreasing their IT budget. Asia remains a bright spot," Price said.
The survey also revealed that 58 percent of Asian CIOs report to the CEO in their organisation, compared to 42 percent globally. CIOs in Asia estimate that they spend 60 percent of their time on IT related activities and responsibilities, and the remainder on broader business activities and responsibilities, similar to how CIOs around the world spend their time.
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