Competition Drives Technology Binge

More than half of all information technology spending today is done with the intent to achieve some advantage vis-a-vis the competition, according to a global survey of more than 500 CEOs and CIOs at major corporations.

The COMPASS IT Strategy Census: 1998-2000, conducted by the London School of Economics for the management consulting firm COMPASS Analysis, confirms that executive management is well aware of the potential impact of IT. "The COMPASS Census clearly shows that the importance of IT to corporate strategy, competitiveness, and operational effectiveness is being recognized at the board level," says Alan Gonchar, president of COMPASS America Inc., based in Reston, Va.

CEOs participating in the survey report that 55% of IT investments currently approved are specifically designed for competitive advantage; the rest of IT spending is considered "defensive." CEOs expect the level of "competitive" IT spending will increase to 60% by 2000. They also believe that IT has an impact on more than 40% of corporate strategy, and will play a role in half of all strategic decisions by the millennium change. The census is based on interviews with 353 CEOs and 152 CIOs at 505 of the worlds top 3,000 companies.

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