GartnerG2 Says Businesses Are Becoming More Tactical as Senior Executives Look Ahead to Growth in 2004

GartnerG2 and Conduct Joint Survey Among Senior Executives to Gauge Most Important Business Issues this Year

STAMFORD, CT, March 16, 2004 — The business priorities among senior executives worldwide are changing from strategic to more tactical as the economic situation improves, according to a joint survey by GartnerG2 and

GartnerG2 and conducted a global survey among 462 senior business executives from large companies (1,000 or more employees) in December 2003 and January 2004 to identify the most important business issues for 2004. GartnerG2 and have conducted this survey on an annual basis since 2002.

The survey results reflect the conflicting pressures of finding growth in a worldwide competitive business environment. Top-line growth as a priority is clear – attracting and retaining customers remains the top-rated issue, growing market share moved up to the fourth-rated issue this year from eighth last year and improving speed to market experienced the largest overall increase in importance.

However, the second-and-third-rated issues of improving productivity and cuttings costs reflect that businesses remain under immediate pressure to improve the bottom line. Longer-term issues such as designing strategy and focusing on core competencies experienced some of the biggest drops in importance.

“Strategy has taken a back seat to the immediate need to show top and bottom line growth as the economic environment has improved,” said Neil MacDonald, group vice president for GartnerG2. “Executives are focusing on how to build a flexible and responsive organization to more quickly detect and respond to market opportunities.”

When these senior executives were asked about their IT priorities, achieving business value from IT and tightening security and privacy safeguards were cited as the most important IT-related business issues. However, these same executives also rated receiving guidance from senior IT leadership as their least important IT issue.

Additional information about the survey can be found at GartnerG2 analysts will be publishing a series of research reports on the survey in the coming weeks.

In addition to questions about key business issues, these senior executives were also asked about their Web usage and work activities. Results for these issues are available at

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About GartnerG2

GartnerG2 is a research service from Gartner that helps business leaders guide and grow their businesses. GartnerG2 provides insights related to companies, markets, and the external forces affecting businesses, today and in the future. For more information on GartnerG2 services, please visit

About Gartner, Inc.

Gartner, Inc. is the leading provider of research and analysis on the global information technology industry. Gartner serves more than 10,000 clients, including chief information officers and other senior IT executives in corporations and government agencies, as well as technology companies and the investment community. The Company focuses on delivering objective, in-depth analysis and actionable advice to enable clients to make more informed business and technology decisions. The Company’s businesses consist of Gartner Intelligence, research and events for IT professionals; Gartner Executive Programs, membership programs and peer networking services; and Gartner Consulting, customized engagements with a specific emphasis on outsourcing and IT management. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, and has 3,700 associates, including more than 1,000 research analysts and consultants, in more than 75 locations worldwide. For more information, visit