CIOs prioritise business value over cost-cutting

Businesses trust IT departments to look after IT and tech expenditure

Money from different countries in a pile

Businesses are more inclined to focus on optimising how technology works in their organisation, rather than cost-cutting, Gartner has revealed.

Almost half of the CIOs surveyed said proving the value of technology is their primary concern, with lowest operational risk coming in second place, while price and performance a worry of 41% of CIOs. Of course, cybersecurity was also high on the list, but only 38% said this was a cost optimisation concern.

"It's not enough to simply reduce IT spending; CIOs must reinvest in growth and transformation to deliver more value," Stewart Buchanan, research vice president at Gartner said. "Those who fail to engage in optimisation risk having savings decisions imposed on them by an advisory organisation with less understanding of IT or digital technology opportunities."

The research also revealed how the IT landscape is changing. IT departments are taking more control over how money is spent in an organisation, which justifies Gartner's standpoint that businesses are more likely to trust the IT department to control IT and tech spend than other departments (for example, the finance team or board).

"As you'd expect, CIOs have the most influence over the selection and approval of cost optimisation opportunities within IT shared services," said Buchanan. "Interestingly, CIOs who focus on digital business opportunities have greater responsibility for cost optimization than those who don't. This suggests that CIOs are starting to exert influence over selecting and approving digital business ideas to optimise business costs."

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