MIS Quarterly Executive


In the summer of 2004, the Society for Information Management (SIM) once again commissioned a formal survey to uncover the opinions of its members on three important topics: key management concerns, application and technology developments, and IT - business alignment. We received 182 responses, which were analyzed in several categories: industry, revenue, years of experience in the IT field, and job title (CIOs versus Other IT Executives). The top five management concerns were: 1. IT and business alignment 2. Attracting, developing, retaining IT professionals 3. Security and privacy 4. IT strategic planning 5. Speed and agility The top six application and technology developments were: (1) Security technologies, (2) business intelligence, (3) business process management, (4) Web Services, (5) customer portals, and (6) data synchronization. Half of these technologies were new to the list of top developments. Some 70% of the respondents perceived their IT-business alignment maturity to be at a Level 2 or 3, using a 1 (lowest alignment) to 5 (highest alignment) Likert Scale. This low score is probably why IT-business alignment remains such a major management concern. The maturity assessment can serve as both a descriptive and prescriptive tool to help organizations identify opportunities for narrowing the alignment gap. Other important insights from the survey respondents: 51% of 2004 budgets are greater than 2003; 43% of 2005 budgets will be greater than 2004; 40% of these budgets goes toward staffing, while 19% goes toward software and 19% for hardware; 77% will have the same or increased headcount in 2004 over 2003; and, 68% are NOT using offshore outsourcing. This article discusses these findings and their managerial implications.