CIOs struggle with information overload

Survey finds budget cuts, market data provide key challenges

The CIO’s role might best be described in future as 'chief intelligence officer' as enterprise struggles to make sense of the volumes of information generated and its ramifications to business.

A survey of more than 2400 IT users and 270 CIOs and senior executive across 13 countries, including Australia, has found a quarter of senior business executives surveyed believe IT budget cuts have harmed profit margins and innovation.

One in eight Australian respondents to the BT Global Services Enterprise Intelligence survey, said they have more market data than they need or so much they struggle to make sense of it all.

“The role of the CIO today is much more than implementing the right information architecture,” BT Global Services’ resulting report, Enterprise Intelligence — the challenge for the CIO in 2010, reads.

“The CIO who enables the workforce to make the best use of information by turning it into enterprise intelligence might be better described in the future as the chief intelligence officer.”

The impact of IT budget cuts as a result of the global financial crisis has made its mark, with 43 per cent of Australian respondents saying they have felt the impact. Australia, however, has fared relatively well compared to other markets globally; 73 per cent of workers in India had felt the impact, 67 per cent in China and 50 per cent in the United States.

According to the survey, 61 per cent of CIOs and 63 per cent of executives said IT was a barrier to their ability to think globally at an enterprise level. Nearly two thirds of CIOs, however, expressed confidence that information and technology expenditure budgets would rise at least as fast as the economy.

Cloud computing

CIOs remain skeptical of cloud computing despite its potential to reduce or eradicate capital expenditure requirements; 53 per cent saying they do not see how cloud computing can save money. The location of servers remains a stumbling block — 25 per cent of respondents globally said they would be ‘extremely uncomfortable’ with servers being based in the UK and 27 per cent said they would be ‘uncomfortable’ with servers located in Australia. About half of respondents worry about intellectual property being stored in the public cloud because of potential security breaches.

“Very few CIOs (21 per cent) or senior executives (26 per cent) think that doing business in the cloud is not a security concern,” the report reads. “There can be no illusion about how much work needs to be done to dispel myths and negativity around cloud use.”

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