It's that time of year again for every CIO to reflect and think about what they want for the coming year ahead. No, this doesn't have to involve gadgets or really, really cool technology. Instead, it's a much broader wishlist that looks at some of the common challenges facing the modern CIO.
Doing more with less
CIOs wish that there is always enough money to go around, that their next project will be 110 per cent backed by the finance department and the CFO always takes a relaxed approach when it comes to investing in IT.
Advisory manager Sukalp Sharma wrote for CIO Australia, pointing out the challenge for CIOs to get the budget they need.
"In an ideal world, the CIO would control all IT related expenditure centrally, minimising redundant expenditure and enabling accurate IT costs reporting," he wrote.
"In reality, however, most organisations have under-the-table applications that are not managed centrally by IT. Quite often, business units have their own supplier relations for the management of such applications, servers or peripheral devices, which do not make it to the IT budgets and fall through the cracks."
Of course, getting budget means getting in with the CFO. A Gartner survey found that 44 per cent of CFOs' influence over IT investment has increased since 2010. However, the good news is that the analyst firm also found that CFOs are starting to make IT a high investment priority.
Changing perceptions about IT
CIOs wish all other business executives, without any doubt, see IT as a valuable asset and the champion of moving the business forward through innovation.
A CA Technologies study found that only 17 per cent of CIOs in the Asia-Pacific region are always involved in the strategic decision-making process in their organisations, with almost a quarter of CIOs believing senior executives' perception of IT as a cost of doing business still exists.
Independent CIO and principal of Starmaster group Bruce Carlos wrote for CIO Australia about the issue of some organisations having traditional mentalities to IT and out-dated attitudes when hiring technology professionals.
"IT needs to lose its unwarranted, dated reputation as a 'necessary evil' that is tolerated but rarely understood at the executive level. This flawed attitude to IT leadership is particularly evident when the CIO role is made to report to the CFO, which sends the wrong message: IT is purely a cost centre and not an enabler of growth or a sustainability partner," he wrote.
"This mindset needs to change. IT is a necessary cost of doing business and IT investment is the cost of doing business better. IT is fundamental to competitiveness and vital in supporting growth in times of expansion."
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