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CIOs need to improve efficiency without increasing budgets, report finds

As the economy remains unstable, businesses are being forced to do more with less. According to a new report by Gartner Research, the majority of global chief information officers are expecting their IT budgets to remain flat during 2012. However, they still need to improve efficiency and deliver on certain aspects of their priorities.

As a result, more companies are utilizing technology to help them achieve these goals. For example, business intelligence, mobile solutions and cloud computing services were ranked as the top three technological priorities for 2012, the report noted. Meanwhile, virtualization and collaboration services were also important initiatives to help businesses grow, attract and retain new customers while reducing expenses.

"In the face of continued economic uncertainty and government austerity, business strategies call for a combination of growth and operational efficiency," said Mark McDonald of Gartner. "As reflected in the 2012 CIO Agenda survey findings, effective leaders see customers as the key factor in both of these strategic components, with the customer experience their focal point in reconciling potentially conflicting goals."

The public sector is also experiencing a move toward the cloud. According to Market Research Media, the market for cloud computing among federal agencies will generate more than $118 billion by 2020.

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