Making information count
THE ACRONYM CIO refers to the chief information officer of a company and is indicative of the importance that a modern organisation places on its technology assets. Unfortunately, in the vast majority of companies CIO may just as well stand for chief IT officer, as CIOs are often just glorified IT managers.
However, the 2007 survey of IT priorities conducted by research house Gartner indicates that the number one priority for CIOs in 1 400 organisations worldwide is the deployment of business intelligence (BI) systems. BI is focused on taking the raw data that every company collects and turning it into useful information that can be used to make everyday business decisions.
James Adlard, programme director at Gartner Africa, says that the prominence given to BI by respondents this year may indicate a shift from the traditional IT focus and the emergence of a sharpened one on the importance of information within an organisation.
“There’s a huge gap between the potential effectiveness of information inside an organisation and reality,” Adlard says. “CIOs are taking the drive to improve efficiency out of the IT department and looking for opportunities to deliver improvements in the organisation as a whole.”
He adds that while information is already well utilised in the private sector, governments and other public sector institutions lag behind badly.
That’s because internationally the public sector is still focused on rolling out infrastructure and improving internal processes, something that companies have typically already mastered.