CIO Magazine’s survey of industry leaders on IT spending makes a good starting point. “The majority of IT executives are expecting budgets in 2013 to increase over 2012. While only 23% expect their budgets to shrink.” The CIO Poll is consistent with Gartner’s spending forecast which shows overall growth to be low at 3-5%, with global IT spending over 3.6 trillion in 2013.

Top business priorities over the next year include overall revenue growth, exceeding customer expectations, attracting and keeping customers, and improving quality. IT alignment with the top business priorities is driving a shift in the ways that technology is transforming business processes. There will be IT categories actually experiencing modest growth, while other categories shrink.

The category at the top of the growth list is Mobile/Wireless. It’s no wonder, when the mobile device itself can be used as the device to execute a transaction, monitor delivery of products or services, promote sales, provide customer support, as well as control manufacturing processes on site and remotely. As technology shifts, most expect the expenditures on the Applications category to continue to grow to support the opportunities presented by the innovations.

Of course the increased mobility of the company workforce, in turn, promotes the movement towards cloud based access to the enterprise IT resources. The number of enterprise organizations planning to increase budgets for outsourced IT services – which includes cloud services – is the highest since April 2012.

One of the more interesting results of the CIO poll was the response to the question, In your opinion, how likely are organizations that have implemented tablets to adopt technologies such as cloud, social, and mobile solutions sooner than organizations that have not?” The surprise is not so much that 70% thought that this was a good indicator, but that this one question makes up 25% of the generally distributed version of the CIO Tech Poll: Economic Outlook.

The most popular phrase during next year’s networking events will be, “Say, do your employees get iPads?”

Adam Dennison, vice president/publisher of CIO, commented on the results of the poll. “While the research reveals budget increases, it is specific technology categories that are seeing growth. To meet business priorities and stay aligned with technology transformation, mobile/wireless, outsourced IT services and apps are receiving a larger percentage of the budget increases. Enterprises are in a race to grow revenue and exceed customer expectations, which can be met through technology innovation and implementation of mobile to enhance customer experience.”

Mobile and cloud technologies are driving IT from its traditional role as an information repository and processor and into the executive offices as communicator and decision support tool. IT services now reach outside the back office to touch the customer and supplier directly in ways that are just being dreamed of. The CIO Poll highlights the challenges and opportunities that IT now shares with the business it serves.


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