IDC survey notes emerging IT trends in southeastern Europe led by big data, cyber security, mobile apps, and private cloud

13 Sep 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Dubrovnik — According to the latest International Data Corporation (IDC) research conducted among end users who attended the IDC SEE Forum 2016 in Dubrovnik this summer, CIOs see themselves moving away from traditional operative roles and focusing on becoming leaders of their company’s digital transformation or changing their organization into a true internal service provider.

CIOs are focused on goals that will strongly influence the future business success of their organizations, such as enhancing and redesigning business processes, increasing company competiveness, and improving customer experience. Reducing IT costs, ensuring operational continuity, and elevating cost efficiency are not among their top priorities.

Perception of Emerging IT Trends and Top IT Investment Areas

Big Data/analytics, enhanced security and cyber security, mobile apps, and private cloud represent the most recognized emerging IT trends in the region. Necessary operations that should secure Necessary operations to maintain companies' current business workflow includes enterprise asset management, social collaboration, and smart operations. On the other hand, experts and managers in charge of IT teams consider public cloud, cognitive systems, virtual reality, and 3D printing as potential threats to their IT security.

IT security is recognized as a top IT investment priority in 2016, which reflects an increase in importance compared to the previous year, when it was ranked fourth among other relevant technologies. "The major trends impacting the European security market, in addition to digital transformation, include regulatory upheaval,” says Zoltan Komaromi, associate vice president and co-head of research with IDC CEE. “The relentless proliferation of malware, both in type and severity, render traditional signature-based approaches ineffective. The introduction of security regulations for online services provision and data privacy places additional demands on security operations.”

The recent survey conducted among CIOs of large companies revealed that investments in databases and data warehouses also increased, from seventh place in 2015 to second position in 2016, while datacenter infrastructure remained in the top three areas of IT investment from the year before. Responses indicate that investments are shifting from enterprise resource planning (ERP) and back-office applications to front-end solutions such as customer relationship management (CRM) and sales force automation (SFA).

Outsourcing, Cloud, and Workflow and Document Management

IDC research indicates that every third CIO in the region is planning to increase the use of outsourcing services or to replace their existing outsourcing provider. Public cloud services (SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS) became widely accepted models for the external delivery of IT functions. About one in five companies plan to expand public cloud usage for at least one of these service areas.

Automation of transactional document processes is another highly important area of operational transformation. Issues related to mobile and cloud integration and expansion of data involved in workflows is also recognized as key, while expansion of data sources garnered less attention.

IT Budgets and Beneficiaries

Business development and sales represent the primary business functions to benefit from IT investments in 2016. This reflects the increasing expectations for IT to help achieve sales and business goals. Supply chain management and marketing and product/services innovations are not considered business priorities at this point.

IT budgets will grow faster in 2016 than in 2015, with 44% of surveyed companies reporting increasing budgets (13% of these cite an increase above 20%, compared to 8% in 2015). Furthermore, 61% of the participating CIOs are owners or approvers of IT budgets and projects.

IDC SEE Forum 2016, September 14-16

IDC's third annual CIO Forum hosted about 200 people, 110 of which were CIOs. More than two days of intensive networking, one-on-one meetings, small group talks, inspiring keynotes, and thought-provoking panel discussions were underlined by a focus on the changing role and agendas of progressive decision-makers across the region.

The IDC CIO Survey 2016, conducted among CIOs in Southerneastern Europe, reveals current priorities and the changing role of the CIO in the region, as well as the strong impact of digital transformation processes on current strategies and future business model development.


For nearly 25 years, IDC has been analyzing the ICT markets of Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (CEMA). With a coordinated network of regional centers and local offices in 21 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, IDC delivers practical advice and insight based on first-hand knowledge of emerging markets and local expertise in a unique combination with regional context and global technology background.


Headquartered in Zagreb with offices in Buchurest, Sofia and Belgrade and partners in Ljubljana, Sarajevo, Skopje, and Tirana, IDC Adriatics tracks, analyzes, and forecasts the IT market and industry in Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, and Kosovo.

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