CIOs seen losing power as virtualization, cloud grow

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chief information officers (CIOs) will gradually lose power and control of their IT budgets over the next years, Gartner senior research VP Peter Sondergaard told journalists during a press conference.

"By 2014, CIOs will be responsible for just 25% of [IT] expenditures," the executive said.

This weakening is related to an IT pattern shift brought on by virtualization and cloud computing, Sondergaard said, which both tend to lead to IT departments becoming less centralized.

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But such a phenomenon does not mean that CIOs will become unnecessary, he said. Nor will IT become less important or will companies invest less in IT.

On the contrary, "while overall IT expenditures [including the private consumer] will grow at above 4% over the next few years, enterprise IT expenditures alone are likely to increase around 5% worldwide," Sondergaard said.


According to Sondergaard, the IT scenario is being shaped by four trends, which he dubs as a "nexus of forces" - cloud, social networks, information velocity and mobility.

"This nexus of forces is killing today's IT architecture," he said.

Public cloud computing worldwide will grow five times more than regular IT expenditures, Sondergaard added. Some countries are more advanced than others in cloud, though. Brazil, he noted, has ample room to grow.

He also underlined that mobile PC sales are outpacing desktops, "which is said to pose a great challenge to companies like Microsoft."

The explosion of tablets is heavily contributing to the new IT scenario, Sondergaard said, predicting that 918mn tablets will be sold through 2016 - compared to 20mn units in 2010 alone.