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Confidence returns to IT budgets

Analyst house Gartner has revealed that early findings from its worldwide CIO survey show a return of confidence to IT budgets. CIOs are expecting modest growth of 3.4% in 2004.

Analyst house Gartner has revealed that early findings from its worldwide CIO survey show a return of confidence to IT budgets. CIOs are expecting modest growth of 3.4% in 2004.

The survey showed that only 12% of CIOs believe their most important role in 2004 will be cost cutting and restructuring, but 43% believe the biggest change in the role of their department will be to enable better business processes. Gartner said the growing focus on business processes and the maturing of key technologies will make business process fusion a key driver for IT investments in a majority of the Global 2000 by 2007.

“The future will not be about automating existing processes using IT, or trying to achieve more with less, it’s about transforming the processes of your business,” says Gartner research fellow Simon Hayward. “Investments to further automate operational processes are beneficial, but produce diminishing returns. There is little point in doing more of the same. By using technology to link previously autonomous management and operational processes, companies can speed up their decision-making, respond faster to changes and make more effective use of their assets. IT now offers the means to extend your business capabilities, but this is not being exploited,” he adds.

Gartner warned a focus on short-term local automation initiatives is leaving IT with diminishing returns to the business. The challenge for IT is to provide the means to extend business capabilities. Gartner said a return in focus on business processes, enabled by the emergence of new software platforms and architectures, can achieve this. It said the transformation of business processes is a major step towards building the real time enterprise

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