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2013 will be a turning point year as CEOs and senior executives, by a ratio of more than four to one, plan to increase IT investment in 2013, rather than cut it, according to Gartner. The 2013 Gartner CEO and senior executive survey found that, as macro uncertainties abate, 78 percent of CEOs now feel able to plan their 2013 and 2014 investments and growth. "This is the year when business leadership teams must commit to investing bravely and deeply to redevelop the technology and information capability of their firms," says Mark Raskino, vice president at Gartner. "After more than a decade of modest investment and sorting out the basics, it's time to think ahead. Business leaders tell us they recognize the need to invest in e-commerce, mobile, cloud, social and other major technology categories, and the capabilities they enable. That can't be done from within existing IT budgets alone."

 

The survey also showed that many business leaders think they have a digital strategy, as 52 percent of survey respondents said that they have a digital strategy. "CEOs and leadership teams must crystallize what they mean by digital strategy and work with a small subgroup from the executive team to define what 'digital' means and how it manifests in the broader business strategy," says Jorge Lopez, vice president at Gartner. "They must ensure all elements of the digital strategy link clearly to the core business strategy, and that they do not form an independent, possibly distracting, program of change."

 

Business leaders intend to change the mix of leadership talent needed to make that change — with chief data officers, chief digital officers and new heads of innovation on the way. The survey found that 19 percent of business leaders expect to see a chief digital officer by 2014, and 17 percent expect to see a chief data officer. "CIOs should embrace growing digital, data and innovation needs, and not stand back from them," says Lopez. CIOs who intend to stay with their firms for longer than two years should be developing digital business, business information governance and innovation leadership capabilities in themselves and in their teams.

 

CIOs who intend to retire or step back into other roles should help their organizations by incubating next-generation talent in the areas of digital media, information exploitation, and digitally enabled product and service innovation. This can be done inside as well as outside the IT department. "A number of organizations are already making new, very big bets in information and technology innovation that run to hundreds of millions of dollars of fresh investment," Raskino adds."The greater risk now is assuming that your lackluster technology capability can remain a 'back burner' issue for another couple of years."


---Gartner

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