ANZ CIOs doing well on digital – but with a caveat, says Gartner

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CIOs in Australia and New Zealand are top of the class when it comes to customer focus and digitalisation initiatives, according to a new missive from analyst firm Gartner.

The figures, which come from the 2017 Gartner CIO Agenda survey, found that of the almost 2,600 respondents in 93 countries, 49% of ANZ CIOs are participating in digital ecosystems ‘as platforms to exchange information and interact electronically with competitors, customers, regulators, stakeholders and other enterprises’.

When it came to technology investment priorities for CIOs in the ANZ region, business intelligence and analytics was cited by 42% of respondents, with cloud (33%) in second and digital marketing (28%) in third. BI and cloud were the top two trends globally, while the third most popular, infrastructure and data centre, polled only 16% in ANZ. Like other areas, CIOs in ANZ say a lack of skills and resources are the biggest barrier to achieving their digital objectives.

“The implications of digital ecosystems for ANZ CIOs are profound,” said Jenny Beresford, research director at Gartner in a statement. “Many will need to shift their enterprise from a linear value chain business, trading with well-known partners and adding value in steps, to being part of a faster and more dynamic networked digital ecosystem.”

Respondents from the region expect only 2% IT budget growth in 2017, lower than the previous year (2.9%) and lower than the global average of 2.2%. Those who have a cost optimisation target have achieved 78% of their goals on average.

One of the best indicators of nations becoming more digitally aware is through cloud computing. The most recent report from the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA) found New Zealand and Australia to have strong showings, being positioned #3 and #4 respectively in terms of international connectivity, data centre quality and security and more, although behind Hong Kong and Singapore.

Despite the positive signs, Beresford added a note of caution. “While many are actively participating now, ANZ CIOs need to take a more assertive and ambitious outlook to avoid falling behind in 2018,” she added.

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