Results from a new IBM study of more than 3,000 global CIOs confirm what we at Apptio have known for some time:

Cloud computing, BI, and analytics are going to prove essential to increasing competitiveness over the next three to five years.

IBM's 2011 study, billed as “the definitive study of trends among chief information officers,” is the product of face-to-face interviews with CIOs from diverse organizations in 71 countries, 18 industries and organizations of every size. The results show that:

  • CIOS clearly recognize the need for business intelligence and analytics. A whopping 83 percent of CIOs see business intelligence and analytics as top priorities for their companies as they seek ways to act upon the growing amounts of data that are now at their disposal. According to the survey, analytics and business intelligence hold the most interest in the chemical and petroleum (91percent), consumer products (89 percent) and healthcare industries (86 percent).
  • Likewise, companies are embracing the cloud. Overall, 60 percent of the CIOs polled said they are ready to embrace cloud computing over the next five years as a means of growing their businesses and achieving competitive advantage –that’s nearly double the number who said they would utilize cloud when IBM asked the same question just two years ago in its 2009 CIO study. The need for cloud computing appeared particularly strong among the media and entertainment (73 percent), automotive (70 percent) and telecommunications (69 percent) segments. A breakdown of the data by country showed that 70 percent of CIOs in the US, Japan and South Korea, and 68 percent in China, now identify cloud as a top priority.
  • Mobility solutions are another major concern. Nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of survey participants cited mobile computing and mobility solutions as a “game-changer” for their businesses –that’s up from 68 percent in 2009.
  • CIO vision mirrors CEO vision.  IBM found that today’s CIO has plenty in common with the CEO. Together, their top three focus areas are strengthening relationships with customers, developing the skills of employees and gaining insight and intelligence from data.

"As technology becomes both an enabler of competitive advantage and embedded in every facet of the enterprise, the role of the CIO has never been more essential," Jeanette Horan, vice president and Chief Information Officer, IBM, said in a press release.  "This study provides key evidence of how the capabilities of IT are aligning perfectly with the aspirations of business leaders. The winners will be those companies that understand the power of technologies like cloud, analytics and mobility, and can harness that power to transform their businesses." 

You can learn even more about the results of the IBM study in this short video interview with Jeanette Horan:


The full 2011 study, titled “The Essential CIO,” is available at