Cloud Computing and Business Analytics: Top CIO Priorities

The results of an IBM survey of 3,000 chief information officers around the world have revealed that cloud computing and business analytics are the top technology priority for CIOs at mid-market companies and organizations for the next five years. The study found that “Eighty-three percent of the mid-market CIOs identified analytics, including the ability to glean actionable insights from large volumes of data, as their top priority for investment over the next five years. The survey included 622 CIOs at midsize companies and organizations.

Compared to a similar study IBM done in 2009, the survey found “a 50 percent increase in the number of midsize organizations that plan to invest in cloud computing.” Speaking at a press conference where the CIO survey results were released, Ed Abrams, vice president of marketing for IBM’s global mid-market business, said, “Cloud has moved out of the experimentation phase and into the implementation stage, This is an area that’s critical to us and our growth, IBM is investing $100 million this year in such activities as lead generation to aid channel partners’ mid-market efforts.”

According to the survey, CIOs of midsize companies are using many IT tools to turn data into actionable information, including: data warehousing (64 percent), master data management (63 percent), visual dashboards (64 percent), and client analytics (63 percent). Trends such as the tremendous growth of internet-connected devices and smart phones are driving CIOs to consider more powerful ways to leverage mobile applications that drive commerce, and better collaboration and enhanced workforce mobility. The need to employ an enterprise mobility program was at No. 2 on the list of CIO priorities. The percentage of CIOs at midsize companies who plan to invest in mobility technology, including smart phones and mobile applications, increased to 72 percent.

According to an IT Business Edge report, “companies would be well served to deploy cloud-based wireless expense management solutions. That way they can combine and leverage the productivity benefits of mobile devices with the low cost of deployment and maintenance perks of the cloud.” Abrams said, “This again reaffirms that it (Cloud) has moved from an experimentation trend to one of true deployment. We really are seeing, as a result of this, that cloud and cloud-based delivery is moving into the mainstream.”