BI, value creation key for CIOs: Gartner

Business intelligence is appearing fairly rapidly

By Lisa Banks, CIO Australia |  Business Intelligence, CIO role, Gartner

Increasing enterprise growth, reducing costs and attracting new customers are the three areas CIOs are focusing their attention on in 2011, according to the latest research from Gartner.

The analyst firm's 2011 CIO Agenda research, based on the responses of some 2000 CIOs worldwide, indicated most in the position had a clear focus on the growth of their business for the next year, with a priority on improved business intelligence.

"Business intelligence is appearing fairly rapidly, and it's been number one for several years," Gartner analyst John Roberts said at a press briefing in Sydney.

"Now does everyone work for an intelligent business where everyone in your organisation has exactly the right information in the right format in the right time to make the possible question? I ask people in business processes that question and most of the time the answer I get is 'no'."

Roberts said CIOs may become complacent, and need to find new opportunities to innovate in the IT space.

"We've digitised more and more of our business processes across our organisation, but still I want you to say there are great opportunities to look for the white space," he said. "We have an opportunity to change business models thanks to the technologies that we have today."

Finding new opportunities to create greater business value will be vital, according to Roberts, predicting CIOs could have adverse compensation or bonuses by 2015 if they can't deliver required levels of value to the business. Some CIOs and high-level executives, such as Commonwealth Bank's Michael Harte, already have a certain percentage of their annual compensation based on reliability of systems and customer satisfaction.

With the stakes raised even higher for CIOs in 2011, Roberts said IT leaders are being put in a complicated position of needing to take risks in a time of uncertainty.

"It's going to be all about risk and placing your bets in a very uncertain world to move forward," Roberts said. "Reaching that decision point will be something that will impact a lot of people's minds over the next year or two."

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