Top 10 Priorities of IS Executives

By David Aponovich

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CIOs' Balancing Act: Cut Costs Today, Plan for Tomorrow
Like every other business executive dealing with this down economy, CIOs are being asked to do more with less and balance short-term objectives with long-term goals.

This challenge is highlighted in a recent survey of 1,500 CIOs by Gartner Inc.'s Executive Programs (EXP). The survey finds that controlling costs while delivering value to the enterprise are considered their top business challenges right now.

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"IT budgets have stalled for the first time in five years. Difficult decisions have to be taken now," said Marianne Broadbent, GartnerEXP group vice president. "The results challenge CIOs to balance the immediate with the most important -- to make sure they control costs and deliver real value without cutting into organizational muscle."

In its report, "Keep Your Balance: The 2002 CIO Agenda," Gartner EXP produced a list of the top 10 IS management priorities for the year. They are:

Whatever Happened to ROI?
Despite lots of talk about how IT executives want to track the return on investment of their IT spending, apparently few companies are measuring it after implementing technology.

A recent poll of IT executives by IDG's Computerworld finds that 68 percent rarely or never verify ROI calculations against their projections when a tech project is completed. The problem, according to the poll: 65 percent of IT execs say they don't have the knowledge and tools to calculate ROI, while 74 percent of organizations admit they don't have a formal process and budget in place to measure the ROI of tech projects.

Thirty-one percent of IT execs have never been personally involved in an audit of an IT project at their company, according to the poll results. Although many believe ROI is a valid measure of the worth of an IT project, many poll participants suggested IT purchading decision should be based on overall business value, not revenue-generation measures.

Storage Management Software Growth Forecast
New analysis by Boston-based Aberdeen Group finds that storage management spending will reach $21.2 billion by 2005, up from $7.9 billion in 2001. Storage management includes data placement, data protection, storage resource management, and storage administration.

Three "IS imperatives" are currently driving the growth, according to Aberdeen Group: lowering the cost of managing storage, protecting the information assets of the enterprise, and squeezing more productivity with fewer budget dollars.