Do Your Clients Spend Strategically?

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Systems integrator Accenture is releasing the results of customer survey it&'s using as a way to help guide its own client investments. The findings aren&'t that comforting.

That&'s because the research found that roughly 55 percent of CIOs at enterprise companies are content to ''follow, not lead'' when it comes to working with new IT developments.

This, despite the fact that the survey found that high-performing IT organizations traditionally spend more of their IT budgets on adopting new technologies.

It&'s probably no surprise to you that even though the survey respondents reported an average increase of 9 percent in IT spending last year, much of that money goes to maintenance projects. (By the way, the research was conducted against a broad range of 300 Fortune-type companies, not just Accenture clients.)

The bottom line: only 14 percent of time is spent on building new projects, even though the survey respondents clearly believe that they need to make well-planned IT investments aimed at improving business processes in order to become high-performing companies in a larger sense.

''What we really want to accomplish is to get people to think about the quality of spending,'' said Bob Suh, Accenture&'s chief technology strategist responsible for the study.

By the way, high performers don&'t necessarily spend more money on IT. But they do spend it more strategically and they have put in place ways to measure the progress of those investments. Approximately 46 percent of the high performers in Accenture&'s survey said they had access to a regular set of metrics that monitor IT performance, while only 3 percent of lower-performing IT organizations were using similar metrics.

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