This is a very different scenario to 2006, where improving business processes currently rates as number one, followed by reducing cost. The number-two priority in 2009 will be expanding the use of information.

Rowsell-Jones said the 'next big thing' will not be a single piece of technology or point solution, it will be about leveraging information.

"We will be putting the 'I' back in CIO and the shift will be to the information piece of IT," he said.

Speaking to the more than 200 delegates at CIO magazine's Interact conference in Sydney last week, Rowsell-Jones said the volume of real-time information will increase 10-fold by 2015.

"If you feel bombarded by information now, you ain't seen nothin yet," he said.

Rowsell-Jones said IT budgets were increasing between 12 and 15% in 1987, compared to a 3% average today.

"This doesn't mean IT demands have gone away, but we are managing budgets in a mature way," he said.

"The good news is that IT is no longer seen as special; budgets are growing at the same rate as business."

Rob Goldberg, risk advisory partner at KPMG, offered two pearls of wisdom.

Goldberg said IT professionals should try the ‘Kiss’ (keep it simple stupid) approach when it comes to governance and think, ‘WIIFM’ (What's in it for me?) when talking to business colleagues.

"Always put your self in the stakeholders shoes," he added.