By MTHULISI SIBANDA in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN – AFRICAN companies are forecast to increase their information technology (IT) budgets next year as digital emerges the leading business priority for local chief information officers (CIOs).
According to the annual Gartner 2019 CIO Agenda, whose findings were disclosed in Cape Town, South Africa, CIOs in the continent expect their enterprise IT budget to increase 4,3 per cent, on average, next year.
This is up from an average of 3,1 percent increase from the past year.
CIOs in Africa expect to spend the highest amount of new or additional funding in 2019 on business intelligence and analytics (57 percent of respondents), cybersecurity (46 percent) and digital business initiatives (39 percent).
CIOs have meanwhile ranked digital as the leading business priority. Some 30 percent of the CIOs placed digital in that rank.
Business growth (23 percent of CIOs) was named second business priority.
Tomas Nielsen, Research Director at Gartner, said the rankings indicate local CIOs were making digital an integral part of their business strategy and planning.
“They clearly want digital fuelled growth in 2019,” he said while presenting at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo.
Nielsen added, “Digital is not nice to have, it’s mandatory. The investment in digital is increasing, and digital continues to gain currency across the economy in Africa.”
Among other major findings, while cybersecurity is the top digital technology deployment among CIOs in Africa, disruptive technologies are reaching a tipping point.
Conversational platforms were ranked second with 15 percent of CIOs in Africa who had already deployed it and 13 percent who will deploy it in the next 12 months. AI was ranked third.
In 2019, Nielsen said, the journey into digitalisation will accelerate.
“It is critical that CIOs master new abilities to anticipate and prepare the needed changes that result from the scaling of their digital business initiatives.”
The 2019 Gartner CIO Agenda Survey gathered data from more than 3 000 CIO respondents in 89 countries and all major industries, representing approximately $15 trillion in revenue/public-sector budgets and $284 billion in IT spending.
Some 62 CIOs from Africa were surveyed, representing $4,4 billion in IT spending.
Gartner is the leading research and advisory company.
– CAJ News