The evolution of sentiment in the Irish IT marketplace over the last four years has been remarkable.
In 2009, our survey indicated that CIOs were primarily focused on IT budget reduction and implementing cost cutting measures across IT departments.
The situation has been gradually improving since then, with previous surveys indicating that the downward pressure on IT budgets eased in 2010 and 2011, albeit at a cost to the CIO.
IT departments were perceived as cost centres and CIO perception of IT/business alignment reached a low point last year, as CIOs struggled to be seen as value-adding partners to
This year’s survey results are striking as the IT market in Ireland breaks free from the grip of recession. IT budgets continue to improve and CIOs believe that they are winning the battle
to be seen as value adding partners. It would appear that CIOs are now shifting their focus away from cost reduction and towards supporting change and growth in their organisations.
This may, in part, be explained by a change in overall business sentiment. To cite just one indication of sentiment, with the exception of the most recent quarter*, Deloitte's CFO Survey has pointed to quarter on quarter growth in CFO optimism, with 44% indicating that their companies had returned to growth by the end of Q1 2012.
We believe that this business change and growth will be enabled through the use of emerging and disruptive technologies such as cloud computing and enterprise mobile, which are changing both the IT and business landscape. This new digital age promises to be exciting and to pose new challenges for the CIO as they lead their organisations in the transformation to what we term the ‘post digital enterprise’.
The over-riding sentiment of this year’s survey is one of restrained optimism. The recessionary constraints of the past few years are easing as CIOs now turn their focus to supporting their organisation’s growth agenda. Emerging technologies are creating new opportunities; however, caution should also be exercised as organisations struggle to meet the demand for skills
Nonetheless, this is hugely encouraging given the current economic environment as organisations across a broad range of industries, not just hi-tech, seek staff to work on their transformation to the ‘post digital enterprise’.
(*) At the time of the survey in June 2012, CFO sentiment had dipped reflecting pressure on the single currency and deteriorating conditions in Spain and Greece.