For years, IT consulting firm SWC has produced market research surveys that have helped us and our customers navigate the rapid changes and trends of our industry. In the past these efforts have been largely focused on IT decision makers, understanding where they saw upcoming opportunities and challenges. In 2014 we decided to focus our surveys exclusively on the CEO space. Our goal was to capture the IT concerns and desires of the business decision makers and what we learned was pretty interesting. Watch our video below to learn more.
Video Commentary and Survey Results
Since our first technology trends survey we have asked the question “Does your organization perceive IT as strategic.” In 2009, 39% of our IT audience said yes. The same number in 2011. In 2012 we saw an uptick to 46%. This year when we asked our CEOs and Presidents if they perceived IT as strategic and 100% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement. Is it that IT has become that much more strategic over time or do we have a perceived disconnect between the CEO and the CIO?
Another question could be – does the CEO’s perception of IT being strategic translate to the CIO being a strategist for the company? When asked if the CIO or most senior IT executive was a part of the company’s leadership team exactly half said yes. Obviously the makeup of leadership teams will fluctuate radically between companies but there does seem to be a shortfall between the perceived importance of IT and the voice IT has in the direction of the companies they serve.
Further to this point, it appears from the survey results that we will see an increase IT spend this year. 60% of our respondents indicated that they will increase or significantly increase their IT spend in 2014. At SWC we are seeing this upward trend particularly within the manufacturing space – an industry that suffered for years during the recent recession and had to make drastic IT budget cuts (watch our IT Best Practices video to learn more). Today, there is a lot investment to catchup. The challenge with this scenario is that these organizations are asking bare bone IT departments to handle a disproportionate amount of projects, with new technologies – many of which they do not have subject matter expertise on. To a degree this dynamic is reflected in our survey results. More than half of our respondents indicated strategic planning and project execution as their biggest IT challenge.
For some the answer to these challenges will lie in outsourcing or managed services. Of our survey respondents only 28% indicated no plans to consider outsourcing in the future while 88% viewed themselves as strong or opportunistic believers in outsourcing.
On a final “fun” note we asked our respondents where their baseball allegiances lie. The North Side won with 64% admitting to their Cubs fan status – the remaining 36% proclaiming their loyalty to the Sox. Either way, after this long, cold winter it will be great to watch a baseball game outside regardless of which side of the city were on.
This poll has provided some interesting information on executive’s perception of the value of IT within their organizations. If you have any thoughts in terms of what trends you would like us to talk about in our next poll, please feel free to email me at Rachael Narel.
If you would like more information on past SWC Technology Trend Surveys, please visit: SWC Surveys or check out our last poll.
Download the complete 2014 Executive Technology Survey.