If Growth Is Back, Is IT Ready? - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
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6/28/2010
11:37 AM
Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
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If Growth Is Back, Is IT Ready?

As more CIOs get back into growth mode, what are they worried about? Speed and budgets, but so much about business-IT "alignment."

As more CIOs get back into growth mode, what are they worried about? Speed and budgets, but so much about business-IT "alignment."That's one conclusion from this week's InformationWeek Growth Is Back cover story.

Our cover story hears from IT leaders at companies such as Royal Caribbean, Ford, and Vanguard about the growth-oriented IT projects they have in the works. We also surveyed 333 IT leaders. We find, for example, that 36% think "introducing an IT-led product or service" will be a main area of IT innovation this year--twice the number of a year ago. We're not calling a blockbuster recovery, and the IT hiring outlook remains very cautious. But it's clear that more IT leaders have growth on their agendas.

Asked their top concerns, IT leaders worry most about whether they can deliver fast enough to meet business demands and if they'll have enough budget to do so. Far down the list of concerns for survey respondents is having the right business unit relationships and having a system to prioritize IT projects. To me, that's a message that CIOs aren't particularly worried about being misaligned with business priorities.

For IT teams that aren't part of their companies' growth efforts, however, it might be time to force the discussion as to why. As I write in the article:

There's one other risk: missing the growth opportunity entirely. ... IT tends to be most comfortable making business processes more efficient rather than driving sales and creating new products and working with customers. But with the pressure back on companies to grow, IT needs to do its part.

Also in this week's issue of InformationWeek, we profile 10 world-class CIOs, from the U.S. and the growth engines of Brazil, China, and India. And we offer insight on unified communications in the cloud, application performance management, and the future of Unix.

Download the full issue in PDF here.

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