This week, Gartner released a report that looked at the issues which CIO’s are facing globally, with the UK & Ireland CIO’s coming out on top with its IT spend.
Dave Aron, vice president and Gartner Fellow, said: "The only certainty for CIOs seems to be the unstoppable advancement of digitalisation. Government, companies and our personal lives are being more deeply penetrated by digital capabilities, opportunities and threats."
"Digitalisation represents both a massive opportunity and new and heightened levels of threat for all countries and companies, and CIOs are facing new, more challenging and more exciting circumstances as digital moves to center stage."
The UK and Ireland are singled out as having a very positive view for 2015, with IT spending at 1.4% which is above global spending of 1%.
The interesting point is that for the past few years spending had been flat, with the UK & Ireland looking to make growth the number one priority by using tech to drive growth through an aggressive and optimistic approach.
A key factor behind this according to Gartner analyst Lee Weldon is because of the variety of tech start-ups and innovation. Demand from CIO’s and CEO’s for finding ways in which tech can apply and impact is creating an innovative business model.
Trust in Cloud is far higher in the UK & Ireland than when compared globally, highglighted when Lee Weldon spoke anecdotally to say that often Cloud services are not trusted when businesses travel abroad, however, due to the proven and trusted nature of the Cloud in the UK & Ireland, it is far more likely to be used, due to confidence in UK suppliers.
Despite the positive nature of this aggressive approach to IT spending, there are concerns raised in the report over the amount of time CIO’s are spending running IT, which is at 44% in the UK & Ireland compared to 40% globally. Lee Weldon pointed out that the risk of this inward looking approach is that the CIO can be left out of the decision making process.
However, the CIO still has an important role to play, Gartner asked CIO’s to assign a hundred points to the roles that are taking charge of digital leadership. In the UK & Ireland 42% assigned the role to themselves, compared to 47% globally. This is not a negative though, Mr Weldon assessed, but a healthy mindset to seeing digital leadership as a team game.
The division of top spending areas in the UK & Ireland market places spending on Analytics at the top with Cloud second (higher than global), digitalisation third and ERP and Data centres fourth and fifth.
Importantly, digitalisation was ranked sixth last year and is placed much higher than the global average. Lee Weldon explained that the UK & Ireland is significantly ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to this.
The UK & Ireland is racing ahead with investment in deployed solutions for IoT, with 10% of CIO’s having already deployed a solution compared to 7% globally.
In other areas of innovative tech, the UK & Ireland can also be seen as leading the way globally. One innovative area of investment is 3D printing where investment is at 5% in UK & Ireland versus 3% globally. This is stemming from an openness to innovation as a tool for growth and because there is increased opportunity due to the mix of start-ups and big businesses investing.
Finally, the UK & Ireland are also excelling in the mobile application market, particularly with customer facing apps. CIO‘s are much keener to think mobile first, with 32% in the UK & Ireland, compared to 26% globally, willing to create an app first and present it to consumers. This aggressive attitude is due to a mobile savvy consumer base.
So to summarise, the UK & Ireland are excelling because of an aggressive and innovative approach to tech investment. The support and variety of new technologies is helping to boost the tech industry as it is providing an investment base for forward looking companies.