wo-thirds (59 percent) of IT budgets in the UK will be dedicated to innovating new products and services by 2017, rather than maintenance, according to a CA survey.
The study highlights the ongoing evolution of the CIO, with 39 percent believing that the IT function is becoming a much more strategic business partner, as opposed to just “keeping the lights on”.
Further, the study, carried out by Vanson Bourne, TechInsights Report: The changing role of IT and what to do about it, found that 45 percent of respondents said that IT spend now falls outside of the department into different areas such as sales and marketing - traditionally not big technology spenders - and is projected to grow to 47 percent in the next three years.
This means that “CIOs must demonstrate that the budgets that they do have can be used to drive innovation rather than just keeping the lights on,” said CA CTO Martin Ashall.
The report, commissioned by CA, confirmed that UK CIOs and IT leaders must stay on top of technology and consider investing in skills and talent to support the shift in budgets and understanding of the IT role in business.
Ashall warned that CIOs put themselves at risk if they do not adapt to the evolving role of IT management. He said: “I think if they [IT leads] don’t take heed, if they’re not changing to become more of a broker of IT and are just somebody driving to keep the lights on there are two problems. One risk is that the business can lose its competitive advantage in the marketplace and secondly, there is a risk that the business will force it to change which could lead to outsourcing IT to a third party.’
To keep afloat, Ashall advised: “They [IT leads] really need to understand what their organisations key goals are and ensure that they are aligned to that so they seen to be delivering value back into the business.”
Ashall believes key investments in cloud, big data and mobility are imperative to stay ahead. He said: ‘In terms of DevOps – invest more so that development will work much more closely to deliver new applications into a business quickly, and ensure that those applications are really going to drive innovation and help the business get that competitive edge rather than just delivering applications for applications sake.
“Leveraging mobility to help consumers, be more comfortable in taking advantage of the services that they are taking to market so it will be easier for the customer to consume their products and services.”
He added that the shift of budgets to innovation was “definitely positive”.
Meanwhile, IT’s influence in business partnership appears to be on the rise with 89 percent of UK CIOs saying they report to the CEO, which is 24 percent higher than the European respondent’s average and a figure that has almost doubled (from 49 percent) since 2011.
The study covered 1,300 senior IT leaders in financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, public sector and telecommunications in 10 European countries and 12 international countries between May and July 2013.