Could Have Greater Impact on Knowledge and Work Sharing, Productivity, Competitive Advantage
Washington – June 11, 2008 – Farkas Berkowitz & Company and Bentley Systems, Incorporated today released the results of their recent survey of chief information officers (CIOs) and chief executive officers (CEOs) at leading infrastructure firms on the state of information technology (IT). The survey findings were announced and discussed at the Seventh Annual Harnessing Information Technology Workshop held in Washington, D.C., and sponsored by Farkas Berkowitz & Company and Bentley. The CIOs and CEOs agreed that while IT at infrastructure firms is already making an important contribution to strategy and operations, there are several areas in which it could have an even greater impact, including:
• Supporting better sharing of knowledge and work across organizational and geographic boundaries,
• Supporting improvement in the productivity of client service delivery,
• Creating sources of competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Alan Farkas, managing director, Farkas Berkowitz & Company, said, “In our online survey, we asked CIOs and CEOs questions on similar topics to determine how the perspectives of these executives align on key IT issues. Ninety-five CIOs and 45 CEOs participated.
“The CIOs and CEOs both said the top two items driving IT’s agenda are the need for increased collaboration and technological change. In addressing the latter, the CIOs made it clear that the best business model for managing and acquiring software technology is project [subscription] licensing of applications – which 74 percent said they currently prefer.”
The participants in this year’s Harnessing Information Technology Workshop largely agreed with many of the key survey findings. For example, Brad Vaughan, senior vice president and CIO, Black & Veatch, said collaboration is critical to addressing today’s global resource constraints. “The power of collaboration,” said Vaughan, “is its ability to provide a common environment towards the goal of delivering a common set of processes and output for clients.” This, he said, combined with robust communication networks, cooperation among all business partners, consolidation of processes and tool sets, and the establishment of common data and common business processes, enables firms to “better comprehend their businesses and acquire knowledge about their businesses that wasn’t visible before.”
Added Janerie Wheeler, vice president, Information Services Technology, Malcolm Pirnie, Inc., “As we expand globally, one of our goals is to support asynchronous collaboration and project delivery as teams work in different time zones. … In addition, we continually work to improve productivity and project delivery services. Our strategy here is to integrate process, systems, and people – with systems being the tangible link between business processes and people.”
John McQuary, vice president, Knowledge Management and Technology Strategies, Fluor Corporation, explained that his company has been able to help drive and support record growth by not only connecting people and delivering value, but also by “having a consistent project execution platform that’s scalable and provides a level of consistency across the organization’s different project execution disciplines.” This, he said, allows Fluor to “move work across the business lines to take advantage of existing people resources.” As a result, teams that normally work on life sciences projects, for example, can be assigned, with very little additional training, to oil and gas projects when the need arises – all because the organization has a consistent set of IT tools and work processes.
Additional findings of the CIO/CEO survey
The CIOs and CEOs said the top challenges facing today’s IT departments are:
• Keeping up with technological change – CIOs, 57 percent; CEOs, 49 percent;
• Controlling costs – CIOs, 43 percent; CEOs, 42 percent;
• Keeping up with changing client requirements – CIOs, 38 percent; CEOs, 56 percent;
• Recruiting and retaining IT staff – CIOs, 26 percent; CEOs, 20 percent;
• Maintaining good relations with operations – CIOs, 25 percent; CEOs, 20 percent;
• Keeping up with geographical expansion – CIOs, 24 percent; CEOs, 44 percent.
If extra time and money for IT were available, the CIOs and CEOs said they would spend it on:
• Improving the sharing of knowledge and work within the company – CIOs, 64 percent; CEOs, 53 percent;
• Improving project quality and delivery – CIOs, 38 percent; CEOs, 44 percent;
• Improving productivity of staff – CIOs, 22 percent; CEOs, 22 percent.
To review the 2008 CIO and CEO Information Technology Survey results, visit www.farkasberkowitz.com/marketresearch.htm.
About the CIO/CEO Survey
The online survey, which was conducted between February and April 2008, contained a series of closed-ended questions. The 95 CIOs and 45 CEOs who participated represent firms with annual revenues ranging from $18 million to $6 billion. The number of employees at these firms ranges from 52 to 54,000, and the number of IT employees ranges from two to 1,200. More than 93 percent of the firms are headquartered in the United States, and the firms’ 2007 IT expenditures ranged from $100,000 to $85 million.
About the Annual Harnessing Information Technology Workshop
The Annual Harnessing Information Technology Workshop is sponsored by Farkas Berkowitz & Company and Bentley Systems. Participants to this invitation-only event include CIOs from the ENR Top 200 Design Firms. For information about next year’s workshop, email email@example.com.
About Bentley Systems, Incorporated
Bentley is the global leader dedicated to providing comprehensive software solutions for sustaining infrastructure. Architects, engineers, constructors, and owner-operators are indispensable in improving our world and our quality of life; the company’s mission is to improve the performance of their projects and of the assets they design, build, and operate. Bentley sustains the infrastructure professions by helping to leverage information technology, learning, best practices, and global collaboration – and by promoting careers devoted to this crucial work. Founded in 1984, Bentley has more than 2,800 colleagues, offices in more than 50 countries, annual revenues surpassing $500 million, and since 1993, has invested more than $1 billion in research, development, and acquisitions. Nearly 90 percent of the Engineering News-Record Top Design Firms are Bentley subscribers, and a 2008 Daratech study ranked Bentley as the world’s #2 provider of geospatial software solutions.
About Farkas Berkowitz & Company
Farkas Berkowitz & Company is a management consulting firm serving companies that provide design, construction, and operational services for government and industry. Established in 1983, the firm assists clients with strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and operations improvement. Please direct all inquiries to Christopher Frangione at 202-833-7530 ext. 3 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.farkasberkowitz.com.