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CIOs highlight BI, virtualisation and cloud computing as key to competitiveness

CIOs highlight BI, virtualisation and cloud computing as key to competitiveness

An IBM survey of 2500 international and 129 local CIOs suggests business intelligence and centralisation of IT systems through virtualisation and cloud computing will be crucial to remaining competitive in the coming months.

A survey of some 2500 international and 129 local CIOs by IBM has highlighted a desire for more business intelligence and more centralisation of IT systems through the use of virtualisation and cloud computing.

Of the CIO respondents from Australia and New Zealand an overwhelming 98 percent cited virtualisation as the key tool to gain a competitive advantage and improve efficiency.

Similarly, 94 percent of CIOs identified business intelligence and analytics as the next best way to enhance their organisation’s competitiveness.

In terms of infrastructure, the emerging trend of cloud computing is also garnering interest with 39 percent of CIOs seeing it as strategic and plan to implement it.

With 78 percent of CIOs looking to build a “strongly centralised infrastructure” over the next five years, the cloud computing model is complementary to that vision, according to IBM Australia and New Zealand global technology services strategist Paul Chester.

Chester said the rise of “private clouds” will address the need for more centralisation of infrastructure.

Katerina Andronis, CIO of the Peter McCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Victoria, said private clouds will become increasingly important in the health industry and “everyone in the industry is thinking about it”.

Andronis said virtualisation is already having a profound impact on streamlining service delivery at the centre.

With some 55 percent of local CIOs’ time still spent on “traditional” tasks of managing technology and leveraging automation, the cloud computing model may help build standardised infrastructure, allowing them to focus more on driving innovation, which occupies 45 percent of their time now, respondents said.

CIO of 7-Eleven Stores Dennis Lewis said he is “between the two” as recent investments in infrastructure and software will keep information management in-house until at least the next round of procurement.

“Software vendors will also need to decide how to licence their products for the cloud,” Lewis said.

Other findings of the survey include:

  • 83 percent of local CIOs are planning to make additional investments in risk management and compliance, compared with 72 percent globally.
  • CIOs in Australia and New Zealand have more influence on business strategy - 77 percent of local CIOs hold a seat on the senior management team, while only 54 percent have the privilege of this influence across the world.
  • Green IT is viewed as a key strategic focus for 67 percent of local CIOs
  • 85 percent of local CIOs said they believe their customer and business partner relationships and integration will be key to success.

Matt English, Smarter Planet Leader, IBM Global Business Services Australia and New Zealand said CIOs are sharpening the focus on building smarter infrastructures and improving business efficiency.

The full 2009 CIO Study is available online at www.ibm.com/ciostudy.

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