CIOs are being challenged to answer the question, "How will technology support growth of our business?" It is imperative that they find a way to harness the emerging megatrends (see Gartner: Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends For 2013) in the face of tight budget pressure. All these forces are coming together to dramatically change the role of the CIO.
To understand how CIOs in the different industries are adapting to this dynamic environment, and to separate the hype from the reality, I decided to poll thought leaders starting with higher education. CIOs in higher education are often out in front with new technologies and trends. Michael Krigsman describes how CIOs in higher education are finding innovative ways to foster growth within their organizations in his paper, Innovation & Transformation: Going Beyond the Social Campus [potential issue: this currently requires registration]. Now we wanted to see how these CIOs are implementing their strategies with their budget priorities. I recently presented at a higher education CIO workshop, developed to guide CIOs to strategically address social, mobile, cloud and infrastructure, and emphasized the significant importance of IT alignment with various lines of business. There are no IT projects, there are only business projects.
We will get into more industries in subsequent articles. For this article, we asked 16 innovative and thought-leading university and college CIOs, located worldwide about their spending priorities for 2013. Specifically, where are they putting their money this year? The CIOs also gave us a quick sentence about their top priority.
Our survey finds that 2013 is the year of infrastructure investment. Based on other surveys we've conducted, this is not surprising. Higher Education CIOs have seen the onslaught of both digital content and mobile devices and need to insure their infrastructure is ready. We spoke to some of the higher educational CIOs in the world.
After infrastructure and mobile, virtualization is still a priority for the CIOs who have not yet tackled that. The opportunity presented by big data may be coming for higher education CIOs, but it's not here yet, at least in 2013. Based on the budget priorities, these CIOs are not outsourcing services, although they are outsourcing apps: cloud gets significant attention; new application development is at the bottom.