2015 CIO Agenda in the Adriatic. A journey into the head of the Adriatic CIO. | Media | IDC Adriatics

While improving business processes and operation effectiveness remains the primary expectation towards IT, closer cooperation between business and IT is emerging as a key factor of future competitiveness among large companies of the Adriatic. 65% of the CIO's are making efforts to align with the changing needs of the business, their attention is often detracted by day to day operation of legacy infrastructure. - a fresh CIO survey from IDC revels.

A New Opportunity for the IT to Elevate Its Position

Senior executives of large companies in the Adriatic recognize that the business value delivered by IT goes far beyond supporting enterprise cost control. The recent Adriatic IT Buyer's Pulse survey run by IDC, the ICT market intelligence company in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia-Hercegovina indicates the business decision makers expect IT to play more a transformational role, than supportive role by improving the business processes, information use and workforce effectiveness. The high hopes towards IT creates a new opportunity for the CIO to reposition the IT team and gain a strategic role at equally with the most important enterprise functions. More so as 70 to 80% of the CIO's believe that IT is already mostly or fully capable to strengthen its cooperation with the business and to deliver on the most important expectations coming from the business.

The priorities of the CIO's in the Adritics are largely aligned with the expectations from the business and reflect a proactive mindset of the CIO's geared towards focusing on the strategic goals of the enterprise, rather than on the internal matters of the IT department. Goals from within the perimeters of the IT department, such as reducing the cost of IT, improving IT processes and project management, consolidating IT operations are significantly outpaced in the list of priorities of the CIO's by goals generated by the business needs and coming from the rest of the organizations. CIO's plan to focus in 2015 primarily improving the quality of IT services, better aligning IT to business strategies, improving the use of company data and initiating projects that drive overall business growth.

IT Investment Plans Balanced Between Must Do and Delivering New Business Value

However, the top focus areas and IT investment plans indicate a slightly different day to day reality. Infrastructure operations still jeopardizes the attention of many CIOs as they are struggling to realizing value with existing assets. Infrastructure consolidation and infrastructure replacement and expansion are among top three focus areas for nearly half of the CIO's in 2015. These activities definitely yield improvement for reducing IT cost, consolidating IT processes and improving the quality of IT services, but their potential to deliver business value on a longer term is limited. Where CIO's can do more for aligning IT with the business is in the area of applications and emerging, innovative solutions like cloud or mobility first strategies. After having resolved the still necessary infrastructure related tasks the attention of most CIO's turn towards applications, the core area where the IT can really have a great impact on the overall business success of the company. In terms of actual investment plans and volumes the importance of extracting value from company data and supporting processes with core applications becomes more visible. Adriatic companies are investing business intelligence, analytics, databases and datawarehouses to make their companies able to capitalize in the fastest growing competitive asset that is company data. ERP comes second in the investment appetite, a position that reflects the core nature of these applications in delivering process efficiency. With the emerging of advanced threats,

cybercrime, cyberwar and cyber espionage security represents a topic much talked about, but typically only ranks as the fourth or fifth most important IT investment area for Adriatic companies in 2015.

The shift to emerging technology solutions appears as a gradual process. However, mobility, cloud solutions and virtualization are more and more often capturing a top 3 place among focus areas or investment plans. Enterprise mobility stand out as 1 in every 5 organization is planning to asses it or invest in it. Private and public cloud services are also gaining recognition as an IT services delivery model being significantly more in focus than traditional outsourcing.

The full results of the Adriatic IT Buyer's Pulse Survey will be presented at the IDC ICT Leadership Forum conference touring the cities of Belgrade, Sarajevo, Zagreb and Ljubljana on the period of March and April. The event will discuss the most controversial and worth considering topics at the crossroads of business and technology in a series of presentations, roundtable discussions and workshops aiming to provide practical guidance and actionable take aways.