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Aussie CIOs optimistic about the future despite challenging times and demanding business requirements

New Insights Quarterly survey identifies Australian ICT trends, highlighting the priority areas and issues for Australian CIOs

Fujitsu Australia Limited

Sydney, October 29, 2011

Fujitsu and Microsoft Australia today released the first results from a planned regular quarterly survey of Australian CIOs, providing key insights and attitudes on a range of subjects from the executives that drive IT strategy across the nation’s corporations and government entities.

The first Insights Quarterly (IQ) report of over 200 Australian CIOs uncovered that they are generally optimistic despite the many challenges they face. Many of the CIOs noted that business issues are often stronger drivers than technology issues in the Australian landscape, with business requirements taking precedence over technology.

The findings indicate that alignment of ICT with business aims remains the primary objective of Australian CIOs. Almost half (46.2 per cent) of the respondents see changing business requirements as the most difficult challenge, with nearly one in ten listing it as the top challenge. The next major challenge facing CIOs was protecting and securing the network, optimising and controlling costs and improving service responsiveness.

Craig Baty, Chief Technology Officer, Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand, said: “The research series is a first for the Australian ICT sector, providing crucial insights into local issues through the eyes of CIOs from across the country.”

Greg Stone, Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft Australia, said: “ICT does not live in isolation – it is a means to an end. Effective CIOs are as much business managers as technology managers and the attitudes reflected in our survey confirm this strong shift in thinking. Insights Quarterly is a fascinating and instructive survey that is of immediate relevance to Australia’s CIO community.”

In terms of technology on the radar for Aussie CIOs, two thirds surveyed considered virtualisation the most relevant future technology for their business, followed by integrated enterprise-wide access with nearly half (42.5 per cent) saying it was of high interest highlighting the importance placed on improved access to information.

While many new technologies are competing for investment, the majority of the technology budget is going into established areas, such as ERP systems, desktop and laptop PCs, and Windows servers. Business Intelligence (BI) remains an area of significant investment, helped by the need for greater business efficiency in the current economic slowdown.

Interestingly, the survey found that cloud computing is regarded as one of the most important, yet most overhyped, technologies. The ICT move from capital expenditure to operational expenditure is one of the drivers behind the uptake of cloud computing, with CIOs noting the attraction of cloud based technology lying in its combination of cost and business flexibility.

The survey identified that one of the current challenges faced by many CIOs revolves around the changing work landscape. This is driven by a rise in a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) culture at work which is being fuelled by a tech-savvy work force, that expect to be able to connect their devices to the corporate network. Another example of end users influencing the ITC focus is evident as CIOs themselves report that they are not concerned about social media. While few currently regard it as important, most acknowledge that allowing social media access and use for business and non-business purpose is an increasingly important demand.

Security is a priority in most organisations as corporate networks become more diverse and distributed. Intrusion detection and prevention is important, but the high rating given to backup, recovery and archiving indicates that overall business continuity is of utmost importance.

Significantly, sustainability issues have made it onto the radar but are not yet attracting a great deal of interest or investment. Most CIOs indicate they want to improve their energy efficiency and reduce ICT’s carbon footprint, but they have little incentive to do so in the face of other priorities.

The largest industry sector represented in the responses was Manufacturing, followed by Government Administration and Defence; Health, Education and Welfare; Financial and Business Services; and Primary Industries, Utilities, Construction and Mining. 54.6 per cent of respondents came from organisations with 100-500 employees.

This survey was designed to collect information across a spectrum of technology and business issues to establish a baseline for future surveys in the IQ Series which will be themed and closely examine topical areas such as Cloud, Applications and Infrastructure, Connectivity, and ICT Sustainability.

The IQ Series, conducted by independent research firm Connection Research, analyses the impact of issues from ICT infrastructure, cloud computing, applications and end-user computing to sustainability, mobility, social media and connectivity.

The research is free to download from Open a new window

About the Research

This report is based on data collected in Connection Research’s CIO Trends survey. The online survey, conducted in mid-2011, received 207 responses from Australian CIOs and ICT Managers from public and private industry sector organisations of all sizes.

The series of surveys, commissioned by Fujitsu and Microsoft’s ANZ Chief Technology Officers and conducted quarterly by Connection Research, will gauge respondents’ attitudes to a range of ICT and business trends and new technologies. The data also allows key issues to be tracked over time.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.
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About Connection Research

Connection Research is a market research and consultancy company specialising in the analysis of sustainability issues. Services are provided in Consumer and Community Sustainability, Green IT, Building Industry and Trades, and Carbon and Compliance. Connection Research undertakes primary research (surveys of users, trades people, suppliers, practitioners), conducts market modelling analysis (combining our primary data with other sources) and consultancy in these fields.

About Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand

Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand is a leading service provider of business, information technology and communications solutions. As the third largest ICT Company in the Australian and New Zealand marketplace, we partner with our customers to consult, design, build, operate and support business solutions. From strategic consulting to application and infrastructure solutions and services, Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand have earned a reputation as the single supplier of choice for leading Corporate News and government organisations. Fujitsu Australia Limited and Fujitsu New Zealand Limited are wholly owned subsidiaries of Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702).
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About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 170,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.4 trillion yen (US$47 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013.
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Tracy Weller-McCormack

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Company:Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand
General Manager, Marketing & Communications

Rudolf Wagenaar

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Company:Howorth (Microsoft PR)

Date: 29 October, 2011
City: Sydney
Company: Fujitsu Australia Limited