Cost focus changes CIO reporting lines

Over one quarter of ANZ CIOs lose their direct reporting line to the CEO

The number of Australian and New Zealand CIOs reporting directly to the CEO has fallen sharply, according to new research from IDC. The analyst firm says due to the greater focus on reducing costs and doing more with less, just 50 percent of CIOs are now reporting to their CEOs. In the same study last year, 78 percent reported to the CEO.

Now 17.5 percent report to a COO and 14.7 percent to the CFO. Last year, only 5 percent reported to the CFO.

IDC three quarters of the surveyed organisations faced the economic downturn without cutting IT budget or IT staff. Cost savings were achieved in areas such as administration and operations (45 percent) and ICT (11 percent).

The "Forecast for Management Survey" also showed that IT spending growth remained at steady levels. The top three CIO priorities in 2009 are: reducing costs (27.6 percent), recruiting and retaining staff (10.3 percent) and meeting users' expectations (10.2 percent).

The top three areas of IT Investment over next 12 months, according to IDC, will be: systems infrastructure (security, storage, network, middleware and so forth), at 18.6 percent; back office, for example enterprise resource planning — 16.1 percent; and front office, such as customer relationship management - 14.7 percent.

"Operation budgets of ANZ CIOs are experiencing a shift," says Adam Lee, co-author of the report and Associate Market Analyst at IDC.

"Some confirmations: hardware and software refreshes are stretched, and a close watch placed on maintenance fees as they become significantly lower. Some contrasts: Outsourcing is falling slightly, network spend is up and planning for internal and external staffing increased for ANZ organisations."

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