IT, Business Alignment Top Priority for Execs

Extracting usable information from tech investments is top goal of CEOs, according to survey

Extracting usable information from tech investments is top goal of CEOs, according to survey

New York — October 14, 2003 — A new survey commissioned by the Society for Information Management (SIM) now puts hard numbers against what has been said anecdotally for more than a year: CEOs, chief information officers (CIOs) and other top enterprise managers are making the alignment of business and technology their top priority when making technology decisions.

The survey, which included responses from nearly 300 senior IT leaders drawn from SIM's membership, showed that business and IT alignment was the top management concern among all respondent groups. IT strategic planning ranked the second most important concern in the survey, while security and privacy ranked third.

"It's rare that any one issue would be so clear cut," says Ephraim McLean, Ph.D, the Georgia State University researcher who co-led the survey for SIM with Jerry Luftman, Ph.D, of the Stevens Institute of Technology. "Across the board, regardless of years of experience, company size or job title, IT and business alignment is clearly uppermost on the minds of corporate officers today. This mindset indicates how intimately technology has been integrated into the overall fabric of enterprises today."

When asked what new applications and technologies were most important, the results reflected the management concerns by listing business intelligence (BI) as the top development. Having the ability to extract usable information out of the raw data being generated by earlier technology investments was the top choice of CEOs, top to mid-managers, and non-IS management, and was second only to infrastructure among CIOs.

SIM officials view this as an indication that business management is driving many of the technology decisions being made today. While infrastructure developments ranked second overall, primarily due to a large number of CIOs ranking it highly, another business-oriented category, enterprise application integration, came in third.

Established in 1968, the Society for Information Management (SIM) is a network for IT leaders comprised of nearly 3,000 members. The SIM community shares experiences and intellectual capital that can be applied, as well as explores future IT direction.