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Security tops CIO worries; IT budgets, turnover on the rise

Ann Bednarz | Sept. 12, 2014
CIOs are spending more on IT, worrying most about security and privacy, and staying on the job a little longer, according to the latest data from the Society for Information Management (SIM).

On the numbers front, a majority of IT leaders are reporting modest growth in budgets. The percentage of revenue allocated to IT rose to 5.14% in 2014, up from 4.95% in 2013 and 4.94% in 2012. The five-year low was 3.55% in 2011.

Meanwhile, turnover is on the rise. The average IT employee turnover rate hit 9% in 2014 a nine-year high. That's up from 6.6% in 2013 and 5.2% in 2012. To combat employee turnover, leaders are investing more on training and education. The percentage of IT budget allocated to training and education was 5% in 2014, up from 4.7% in 2013 and a six-year low of 2.9% in 2012.

While IT workers are more inclined to change jobs, CIOs are staying longer. The study found average job tenure of CIOs in 2014 to be 5.4 years, above the nine-year average of 4.8 years.

When asked about the most important IT management concerns for the organization, the most pressing issue cited is a familiar one: alignment of IT with the business. IT pros also said the organization is concerned about security and privacy; business agility and flexibility; business productivity; and IT time-to-market or speed of delivery.

Meanwhile, when CIOs were asked about their own IT management concerns, security and privacy ranked first. The next most worrisome issues for IT pros are IT talent and skills shortage, followed by alignment of IT with the business; IT time-to-market; and IT's value proposition to the business.

Ranked from 1-5, organizations' five largest IT investments are: analytics and business intelligence; data center infrastructure; ERP; application software development; and cloud computing.

At first glance, Kappelman says he didn't expect data center infrastructure to be the second-highest spending priority. "At first it seemed surprising, but when you think about it, with all the investment in internal cloud, shared services, big data and analytics, and the fact that, according to our data, 83% of all IT is delivered through in-house capabilities (17% through external, public cloud-type things), it's no wonder we need more capability to deliver it," he says. "In reflection it makes perfect sense."

SIM, which counts 4,500 CIOs and senior IT executives among its ranks, will hosts its annual SIMposium conference in Denver in early November.


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