Every year, Gartner conducts a survey of CIOs to determine their priorities for the coming year. For 2016, that survey included 2,944 CIOs from across 84 countries. Together they represent approximately $11 trillion in revenue/public-sector budgets and $250 billion in IT spending.

Welcome to the first of five post series about these priorities. In addition to a summary of all ten priorities below, we’ve selected four of them for extra analysis. As we roll them out, we’ll link to the new posts below to make them easy to find.

Happy reading!

Top 10 Priorities


  1. Business Intelligence (BI) & Analytics

Big Data has become ubiquitous with the modern IT landscape, and it’s only going to get bigger. So it’s no wonder that BI and analytics were the top priority for CIOs. In order to get the most out of that data, it’s imperative that companies have a comprehensive BI strategy. And the implementation for that strategy is going to largely fall on the CIO’s shoulders.

  1. Cloud Computing

Many analysts view 2015 as the year when cloud computing matured to the point where it became the go-to platform for enterprise applications and data. As we go into 2016, cloud-computing offers clear advantages over traditional data centers, including better flexibility, more scalability, and lower capital expenditures.

  1. Mobile

Today, more users use their smartphones to browse the internet than laptop or desktop computers. So it’s not surprising that the number three priority for CIOs in 2016 is mobile integration, specifically in the development and utilization of mobile apps. Externally, mobile apps can give companies a direct connection to customers. Internally, they can turn any smartphone or tablet into a mobile workstation.

  1. Digitization & Digital Marketing

The rate of digitization will only increase as the Internet of Things is more widely adopted. CIOs are reacting to this trend by placing a greater priority on the digitization of their processes and documents. Externally, this means more digital marketing and more ways to reach their consumers and clients. Internally, CIOs are embracing a greater digital environment for work processes, data tracking, and more.

  1. Infrastructure & Data Center

The top four priorities for CIOs are all based in the realms of programming and digital management, so it follows that the fifth priority is ensuring that there is enough infrastructure in terms of bandwidth and space to handle the increased demand. The modern data center marketplace offers many more choices between the extremes of completely external storage and completely internal storage.

  1. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

With all of the emphasis on cloud-computing, digitization, and BI, it’s no surprise that ERP is high on the list of CIO priorities. When done correctly, an ERP system will boost productivity and increase your company’s performance.

  1. Security

IT security has always been a top concern. High profile breaches in 2015 of companies like Target and Home Depot have made it an even higher priority for CIOs. The nature of these breaches pushes security beyond permissions, access control, and firewalls. Modern security systems must have additional controls to mitigate any loss if a data breach does occur.

  1. Industry Specific Applications

The IoT and an increase in automation capability has led to a drastic increase in the amount of available industry specific applications. This same change has also led many businesses to consider upgrading or replacing their legacy software applications. When used properly and set up correctly, industry specific applications can increase efficiency, streamline workflows, and improve communication.

  1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Any data that you collect about your customers is only as good as it is useful—and that’s where a CRM comes in. A well-structured CRM will be able to track your customers’ data through their entire lifecycle with your business. CRM systems are invaluable for sales and marketing, allowing your teams to target their efforts and drastically lower costs per sale or lead. CRM automation can also be utilized throughout your business, and the data tracking enables every employee to be on the same page with the same data.

  1. Networking, Voice, & Data Communications

Modern businesses have more communication methods than ever, including voice calls, conference calls, video chats, live streams, networked data, and more, all running along the same channels. The recent surge in remote working has also forced CIOs to reevaluate their approach to communications systems. Networks that before only had to function internally now have to be accessible from anywhere, and they still have to be just as reliable and secure.

Want to find out more?

We’ve put together a strategic summary eBook. In this eBook, we go into each of the priorities and give you a strategic starting place for implementing them in your business.
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