Customers, core competencies and competitive advantages top board directors’ priorities
Attracting and retaining customers, focusing on core competencies and maintaining competitive advantages have been revealed as the key business issues for board directors and their organisations, according to the second annual Gartner-Forbes 2012 Board of Directors Survey.
Half of the 175 board directors surveyed in March and April 2012 were willing to invest in IT as a means to change the rules of competition and had IT as the highest priority for investment in 2012, tied with investments in sales.
Directors also recognised the need to innovate going forward, and 86% of respondents believed that IT’s strategic contribution to their business would increase by 2014.
“The best strategy for the CIO is to select projects that drive the strategic priorities of the firm,” said Mark Raskino, vice president and Gartner fellow. “Although this seems obvious, in practice, it is challenging to drive consensus on what that exactly means. CIOs need to review project elements with the CEO and key board sponsors, so they can understand that the project is designed to enhance their priorities in a meaningful way.”
The main areas of focus were dominated by issues with a direct connection to revenue and profit. IT research firm Gartner said that IT leaders should review their plans for integrating acquired customer systems, prepare plans for divestitures to lower risk, and adopt IT-enabled business models as the reputation of IT as a means to improve productivity persists.
“CIOs should continue to examine how to liberate budget allocations through improved efficiencies, so that the innovation and core competency investments prioritized by the board of directors are maintained,” said Jorge Lopez, vice president and analyst at Gartner.
“They should also investigate how IT can change the business model for their industry in a manner that will change the rules of competition.”
Mr. Lopez and other Gartner analysts are to examine the key issues facing CIOs and IT leaders at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo on 3 – 5 October.