While IT is still decided upon by Chief Information Officers in businesses and companies, the CEO’s role in making ICT decisions will increase, according to Jyoti Lalchandani, VP and Regional Managing Director at International Data Corporation (IDC) for Middle East, Africa and Turkey.
Lalchandani addressed delegates at the IDC’s annual Africa CIO Summit in Cape Town.
“In the IDC’s Africa CIO survey, it showed that 45% of decision makers will focus on the long-term perspective this year, while only 28% focused on that in 2011. The ICT budget change in 2012 will also increase, with 58% saying their budget will be higher than last year. Only 28% said their budget will remain the same, but we’ll definitely see more competition in the market,” he said.
When asked during the survey what companies’ top strategic initiative for the next 12 months would be, a staggering 91% said they would focus on operational efficiency, while 78% will concentrate on cost optimisation. Only 60% said their main priority would be innovation.
“We also saw that companies in Africa will be looking at virtualisation when scoping for technologies to use for projects in 2012. Business Intelligence and Analytics also ranked high, with CIOs asking themselves how they can extract information.”
Lalchandani also said over 40% would be looking towards mobile devices and apps, while cloud apps and services will occupy 30% of CIOs’ attention.
But there are shades of grey. “Some of the biggest challenges for CIOs are the explosion of data storage, managing security, measuring Return on Investment on IT investments, and the lack of staff skills,” he said.
“We’re also likely to see an operational change in the next six to 12 months, as CIOs in the survey indicated that they have an increased preference for standardisation and rely more on 3rd parties,” Lalchandani concluded.
Charlie Fripp – Online editor