Business-IT alignment is the top priority for German CIOs when it comes to securing the future of their companies, according to a survey conducted by CapGemini.

The consultants, who interviewed IT managers at 156 major German corporations, also found that high on IT managers' agendas was the integration of standard, off-the-shelf software with individual applications, followed by data quality management and enterprise content and master data management.

Cloud computing and social networks have gained significantly in importance, with 43 pc of CIOs polled in the process of looking at social-media integration and 32 pc establishing projects to analyze social media.

According to the poll, 25 pc of CIOS are accessing IT services from the Cloud. For data security reasons, however, they are predominantly using private rather than public clouds.

Around 38 pc of those polled assume that the majority of IT services will come from the Cloud or from external service providers in 10 years. That will have implications for companies' IT staffing needs.

According to the CapGemini poll, 43 pc of IT managers polled believe that company IT will be split into a division managing business processes and one providing technical support. Such a split would change the traditional role of the CIO.

Peter Lempp, one of the CapGemini analysts responsible for the study, said CIOs currently are half service provider, half management business partner. "CIOs doubt that, in the long term, they can manage this balancing act," Lempp said. "That's why many assume that the role will be split."