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CIO Klub survey highlights process improvement as top IT priority

Yuga Chaudhari, Principal Correspondent
CIO Klub's Enterprise IT trends 2010 survey conducted in association with Ernst & Young indicates interesting IT investment trends among Indian organizations. The survey reports were revealed on April 23, 2010 as part of the CIO KLUB's second anniversary. The study is based on a survey of 126 Indian CIOs from large and medium organization. According to Pinaki Mishra, the partner of Ernst & Young, the survey's goal is to understand IT investment priorities. "We also tried comparing this year's IT trends with last year due to the downturn and investment crunch that CIOs had to face," says Mishra.

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1. Process and performance improvement: These aspects have come up as the top priority for 2010-'11 as per the CIO Klub survey. Last year, IT cost reduction occupied center stage. This trend shows that businesses want IT to participate more in the strategic decisions. Sectors like chemicals and manufacturing are expecting around 20% of growth in IT investments. Overall, there is a lot of positivity, which also translates to enhancement of the CIO's role. The CIO Klub survey indicates that CIOs will actively participate in board level projects.

2. Information security: According to the CIO Klub survey, Indian organizations are moving to a difficult area this year, due to the increase in security incidents impacting the business. As a result, information security remains the key priority for the CIOs across the board. Spend on information security will continue as per CIO Klub survey, and it's expected to increase up to 10% during 2010-'11.

3. Business continuity (BC)/disaster recovery (DR): Similar to last year's CIO Klub survey findings, BC and DR remain one of the top five priorities for Indian CIOs during 2010-'11 as well. This means that Indian companies are looking at future investments and projects that could help business growth.

 4. Enterprise apps: Implementing advanced enterprise applications such as CRM, business intelligence, and data warehousing is fourth on the priority list of Indian CIOs. As per the CIO Klub survey, 63% of respondents emphasized on enterprise apps as an important initiative.

 5. IT investment as a percentage of the organization's overall revenue: This aspect remains between predominantly in the range of 1-3%. As compared to the previous year's CIO Klub survey figures, the number of respondents stating reduction in IT operating expenditure has come down from 68% to 47%. Signs of economy revival seem to be round the corner; however, the after effects of the past year will continue for some more time, according to the CIO Klub findings.  

6. Cloud computing: In terms of emerging technologies, cloud computing is evolving as one of the more significant emerging technologies in 2010-'11. It's expected to cut power, storage, hardware, personnel and real-estate related costs.  Only 9% of the CIO Klub survey respondents currently use some or other form of cloud computing, whereas 58% of the respondents are either evaluating or have planned cloud-based investments.

7. Virtualization: As far as virtualization is concerned, the CIO Klub survey indicates that retail, technology, BFSI and consumer products companies lead the way in using virtualization.

8. Data loss prevention (DLP): According to the CIO Klub survey respondents, companies are looking at how to protect the internal data using DLP. Around 52% of CIOs are interested in this technology.

 9. Green computing: It is also one of key initiatives that CIOs plan this year, as highlighted by the CIO Klub survey. Around 56% of Indian CIOs intend to go green during 2010-'11.

 10. Recurring expenses: Costs such as annual maintenance, licenses, consulting, and upgrades are expected to increase during 2010-'11. Respondents of the CIO Klub survey expect increase in spend on external professional services firms in the area of IT audits, ERP audits, information security, management consulting, and technical support for implementation.

To summarize, CIOs are getting stronger in strategic decision-making for the business. The CIO Klub survey indicates that some of the questions driving the role of a CIO are - How do I make use of IT for improving the business? What is the next step beyond ERP? As a result, customer-centric solutions will be far more important this year.