SIM by the Numbers

By Eileen Feretic Print this article Print

Research discussed at the annual Society for Information Management conference. See also 2011 IT Budget Forecast, Optimism at SIM Conference.

Sharing knowledge played a major role at SIMposium 2010, at which the results of SIM’s annual survey of CIOs, CTOs and senior IT executives from 172 U.S. companies were announced. IT faired better than most other industries in 2010, according to Jerry Luftman, former SIM executive vice president and executive director of Graduate Information Systems Programs and distinguished professor of Information Systems at the Stevens Institute of Technology. He has conducted this SIM research for 10 years.

“IT spending was up a bit this year, and will be up again in 2011,” Luftman told Baseline. “Spending still won’t be up to pre-recession levels, but it is trending up.” In the surveyed companies, 65 percent said their 2010 IT budgets were either equal to or higher than 2009’s. Seventy-three percent predicted that their 2011 budgets would be the same as or higher than 2010’s.

Staff issues were also somewhat improved. “In our research, retention is very positive, and hiring and salaries didn’t take a big hit,” Luftman reported. The average turnover rate in this year’s survey was 5.5 percent, compared with 6.9 percent in 2009 and 8.4 percent in 2008. IT staff salaries in 2010 were higher than 2009 salaries in 42 percent of the responding companies. Staff salaries in 2011 are expected to be higher in 61 percent of these firms.

In another positive note, IT training funds as a percent of the IT budget increased this year: from an average of 3.19 in 2009 to 3.48 percent in 2010. That’s projected to reach an average of 3.98 percent in 2011.  SIM also queried its members on this year’s IT management concerns. The top 10 are:

1. Business productivity and cost reduction

2. Business agility and speed to market

3. IT and business alignment

4. IT reliability and efficiency

5. Business process reengineering

6. IT strategic planning

7. Revenue-generating IT innovations

8. IT cost reduction

9. Security and privacy

10. Globalization

The top five applications and technology investments in 2010 (ranked from 1 to 5) are business intelligence, virtualization, ERP systems, continuity planning/disaster recovery and cloud computing. Virtualization and cloud computing are new additions to the top 5.

One particularly interesting survey statistic concerns the way CIOs spend their time. According to the respondents, 75 percent of their time is spent on non-technical areas, primarily in managing relationships with staff, business colleagues and vendors, as well as strategy and HR. That number illustrates the evolving role of CIOs.

“Our survey results show that IT is being leveraged to improve quality and productivity and to reduce costs, but achieving agility and speed to market have also become increasingly important,” Luftman said. “Now it’s up to IT to demonstrate results.”

This article was originally published on 2010-10-07
Eileen Feretic is the Editor of Baseline Magazine.
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