CEOs Rank IT As No. 1 Concern

Information technology is more important to CEOs than corporate growth.

Impossible, you say?

It's true, according to findings of a recent survey, Strategic Information Technology and the CEO Agenda, by the Chicago-based consulting firm A.T. Kearney Inc., a unit of Electronic Data Systems. Based on interviews with 213 CEOs and senior executives at major companies worldwide, the consulting firm found that information technology/data management was cited as the most important issue facing business by 30%, compared with just 13% who cited creating corporate growth as their No. 1 concern.

Manufacturers, chemical firms, and energy and utilities companies were the most likely to increase their investment in IT over the next three years. Some 78% of respondents in manufacturing firms, compared with just half of telecommunications, electronics, and automotive firms, expect to boost IT spending over that time.

On the software front, executives deemed Internet applications the most significant, followed by integrated application packages, networking systems, and electronic commerce.

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