Where do IT managers spend their time and money?

As they do with most areas, companies must find creative ways to divide two scarce resources in IT: time and money. A new survey looks at what areas tech leaders are focusing on now. 

When it comes to managing their own time, the key for IT managers is finding a balance. That’s the message from a recent survey conducted by the Society of Information Management.

Technology leaders must serve as a connection between the IT department and the rest of the business, two groups that are often difficult to keep on the same page. That goal is reflected in the ways IT managers spend their time.

Here’s the average breakdown, according to the 484 CIOs and IT managers polled:

  1. IT priorities and strategy (16% of IT managers’ time, on average)
  2. business priorities and strategy (14%)
  3. interacting with internal IT staff members (13%)
  4. interacting with other company employees (12%)
  5. IT operations (12%)
  6. interacting with non-IT executives (11%)
  7. interacting with IT contractors and other non-employees (7%)
  8. IT governance (6%)
  9. IT management and human resources (6%)
  10. software development (2%), and
  11. other (1%).

Dividing time relatively evenly among IT priorities and business priorities — and between IT staff and business leaders — is important for IT. After all, the IT department is there to support the business, so it’s important for IT managers to spend time getting to know what the needs of the business are and figuring out how IT can help.

Dividing the IT budget

How are IT managers using their budgets? The biggest priority when it comes to spending: people.

On average, more than half (53%) of the IT budget in 2013 went toward human resources, including internal staff (40%), outsourcing and contractors (10%), and consulting services (3%).

When it comes to other investments, IT managers typically aren’t allocating funding to where their biggest concerns lie, according to the survey results.

For instance, when respondents were asked their most significant IT investment in 2013, the top answers were:

  1. analytics and business intelligence (cited by 42% of respondents)
  2. customer relationship management (20%)
  3. cloud computing (19%)
  4. enterprise resource planning (17%), and
  5. big data (13%).

However, when asked about their own top concerns, the IT managers surveyed answered:

  1. analytics and business intelligence
  2. IT security
  3. disaster recovery
  4. cloud computing, and
  5. BYOD.