Mr Sondergaard said that Gartner's statistics showed that there were now close to 10 billion devices permanently connected to the internet, and 60 billion which were connected intermittently. He forecast that by 2020 there would be 50 billion devices permanently connected, and 200 billion connected intermittently.
Meanwhile the sheer volumes of data on the internet were tipped to explode. Analysts suggested that 15 petabytes of new data were created on the internet each day.
In this era of extreme information the CIOs which shone would be those able to make the transition from providers of outputs to creators of business relevant outcomes, Gartner analysts said. Only business outcomes would be able to generate any form of competitive advantage.
Thinking creatively will also extend to CIOs continuing to operate on a shoestring. Gartner surveys conducted this year have found that while 65 per cent of CIOs believe that IT will make 'a greater strategic contribution in the next decade than ever before,' they won't be flush with funds to achieve that.
Mr Sondergaard said that, 'Most CIOs are facing another year of restraint.' He noted that 'The next five years represent timid, even lacklustre, growth' for IT budgets.
Internationally IT budgets were forecast to grow 3-4 per cent until 2014, although there were pockets of activity in Asia Pacific driving regional growth rates to a healthier 10.6 per cent in the same period.
But Gartner managing vice president Ian Bertram warned that CIOs would have to rethink their approach to IT management, away from command and control. Instead they needed to reshape their roles, assuming the mantle of influencers and advisers, and encouraging end users to participate in the information technology ecosystem.
They also needed to understand that old paradigms of 'build to last' were obsolete. Instead IT systems needed to be designed with 'build to change' in mind.
CIOs needed to adopt a layered approach to systems design. This would allow three layers of information system to develop in enterprises, namely: systems of record (eg. general ledgers); systems of differentiation (eg. pricing); and systems of innovation- many of which would be developed externally, or by end users, and their use merely orchestrated by the CIO.
Gartner research director Robin Simpson said that the successful CIOs would emerge as enterprising, creative leaders with an entrepreneurial bent and willingness to 'place bets' on technology.
Mr Sondergaard said that CIOs would increasingly be measured by their ability to provide information systems that would contribute to corporate revenues and that would 'determine the compensation of CIOs.' Meanwhile Government CIOs would be valued by their ability to provide systems delivering productivity rather than efficiency.