Society for Information Management Announces New Era in Information Technology

“We haven’t seen this pace of change in at least 20 years, if ever.”
- SIM’s Lead Researcher Leon Kappelman, Ph.D.

CHICAGO--()--The Society for Information Management (SIM), an association of more than 4,500 senior-level IT leaders, announced today that the practice and profession of information technology (IT) management has entered a new era, based on the preliminary results of its 2015 SIM IT Trends Study.

Now in its 35th year, the SIM study surveyed more than 1,000 IT leaders, including 451 chief information officers (CIOs) from 717 unique organizations. Those companies average $5.6 billion in annual revenues, representing approximately 25 percent of the U.S. economy’s Gross Domestic Product. It is the largest sample collected since SIM began conducting the study in 1980. The study gains insights from CIOs and top IT executives from across the nation on topics like budgets, salaries, and headcounts to create an unbiased report of industry trends.

“The preliminary results show that we are in a time of profound change for business, technology, and IT leadership,” said SIM’s lead researcher and Professor of Information Systems at the University of North Texas Leon Kappelman, Ph.D. “We began suspecting this last year, and this year’s survey data confirms our suspicions. The way companies are spending their IT dollars is changing; the way IT leadership is spending its time is changing; the entire focus of organizations – the way companies view the IT function and even IT leadership, itself, is changing.”

“We haven’t seen this pace of change in IT since Y2K and the dot-com explosion 15-20 years ago, if ever,” Kappelman added.

Preliminary Findings

According to SIM, despite ongoing economic uncertainties, organizations continue to invest in IT to improve operations, reduce costs, and enable strategies. IT budgets, hiring, and salaries are modestly increasing and IT executives are cautiously optimistic that this trend will continue into next year.

Preliminary results indicate the five most important IT management concerns of organizations are:

1. Alignment of IT with the Business

2. Security and Privacy (up from 7th in 2013)

3. Business Agility and Flexibility

4. Business Productivity

5. IT Time-to-Market / Speed of Delivery (first year on the list)

Their five largest IT investments are:

1. Analytics and Business Intelligence

2. Data Center Infrastructure (first year on the list)

3. Enterprise Resource Planning

4. Application Software Development

5. Cloud Computing

Among other preliminary key findings:

  • 44 percent of chief information officers now report to the chief executive, up from 43 percent in last-year’s study, and just 31 percent in 2007. The trend toward an increasing CIO business focus is also reflected in the performance measures of CIOs, where the top four are business-related.
  • Companies are funneling an average of 5.1 percent of their revenue toward the IT budget, more than ever before and up from just 3.6 percent in 2011. Of that, IT spends about 10 percent of its budget on cloud services, a number Kappelman viewed as “surprisingly large, but it’s the first time we’ve directly measured it.”
  • IT employee turnover rates are reaching a fever pitch – nearly 9 percent, compared to 5.2 percent in 2012, and above the nine-year average of 6.3%. On the other hand, the study found average job tenure of CIOs in 2014 to be 5.4 years, above the nine-year average of 4.8 years. To combat IT employee turnover, leaders are investing more on training and education, spending 5.0 percent of the IT budget on education, compared to just 2.9 percent in 2012.

“The initial results from the study show we’re at a kind of tipping point for IT’s role within the overall business organization,” Kappelman said, adding that “some are past it already, leading the way. We see CIOs spending more time than ever before working on business and strategic decisions, and in general, 81 percent of IT leaders agree that IT is aligned with the business. The big question is, can they sustain it in these times of increasingly rapid change?”

This study also includes findings on IT spending patterns, IT workforce trends including retirement forecasts; specifics about the performance measures used for in-house and outsourced IT, as well as to evaluate IT executives; how CIOs spend their time, to whom they report, and what they think about the role of IT in strategy and innovation; sourcing activities and the use of cloud and shared services; skill needs for the success of new hires, mid-level IT professionals, and CIOs; the personal views of senior IT leaders about their most important or worrisome IT management issues and technologies; and other important aspects of IT management.

Media Content Available

SIM leadership hosted a media roundtable on Sept. 9, 2014 to discuss highlights of their findings. Click here to listen to the full SIM Media Roundtable. Slides from the roundtable, including detailed statistics, are available for download on SIM’s media resources website. The complete study report is still being processed by researchers and will be released to all SIM members following the group’s SIMposium event Nov. 2 – 14, 2014, in Denver. A slide deck of the conference presentation will also be released to the public.

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About The Society for Information Management (SIM)

Established in 1968, the Society for Information Management (SIM) is the premier network for IT leaders composed of more than 4,500 members including CIOs, senior IT executives, prominent academicians, consultants, and other IT leaders. SIM is an objective community of thought leaders who share experiences and apply rich intellectual capital, and who explore future IT direction. Through its 34 chapters, SIM provides resources and programs inspired by IT leaders for IT leaders that enable CIOs to further develop the leadership capabilities of themselves and the key and emerging leaders in their organizations. SIM provides the collective voice to advocate policy and legislation on behalf of the IT profession across industries.


for The Society for Information Management
Andy Ambrosius, 312-673-6061

Release Summary

Society for Information Management (SIM) announces the start of a new era in information technology based on the preliminary results of its 2015 SIM IT Trends Study.


for The Society for Information Management
Andy Ambrosius, 312-673-6061