Forrester analyst Tim Sheedy said the credibility of IT "rests on its ability to provide the necessary tools" to support business innovation.
"Fifty-nine per cent of enterprises plan to strengthen their IT links to the business," Mr Sheedy said.
"Improving the IT department's contribution to business processes across the company is seen as a top priority."
Decisions on IT initiatives and budgets are increasingly determined by lines of business, with 91 per cent of local firms having some control over the allocation of IT spending.
Mr Sheedy said initiatives such as IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and the Project Management Body of Knowledge would drive better business practices. "IT organisations are taking an incremental approach to improving their internal process in an effort to improve the service levels for the business," he said.
"ITIL will be a top-priority investment in 47 per cent of local firms this year, while a further 38 per cent will make some investment in it."