MIS Quarterly Executive


In the summer of 2005, the Society for Information Management (SIM) once again commissioned a formal survey to uncover the opinions of its members on four important topics: key management concerns, application and technology developments, organizational considerations (CIO reporting, headcount, retention, and budget), and enablers and inhibitors of IT and business alignment. We received 105 responses, which were analyzed in different categories: industry, revenue, and over time.The top five management concerns were: * IT and business alignment * Attracting, developing, and retaining IT professionals * Security and privacy (tied with above) * IT strategic planning * Business process reengineering The top six application and technology developments were: (1) security technologies, (2) system integration (new to the survey in 2005), (3) business intelligence, (4) mobile and wireless applications, (5) data synchronization, and (5) enterprise resource planning. As an organization, IT is seeing its budget rise, with headcount accounting for over 40% of its spending. Some 70% of IT organizations are centralized, 42% of the CIOs report to the CEO, and 50% of the CIOs have been in their current position for at least four years.The top five enablers of alignment were: (1) IT understands the firm's business environment, (2) senior executives support IT, (3) IT and the business have a close partnership, (4) IT demonstrates strong leadership, and (5) IT's plans link to business plans. Conversely, the top five inhibitors of alignment were: (1) ineffective business communication with IT, (2) poor clarity and predictability of corporate goals/directions, (3) inadequate influence of headquarters' leadership, (4) lack of business commitments of budgets to IT investments, and (5) insufficient business commitments of staff to support IT investments. This article discusses these findings and their managerial implications.