Majority of CIOs plan to invest in IT this year, survey says

Thursday April 23, 2009
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TORONTO, Ont. - Despite a challenging economy, three-quarters (76 per cent) of chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed in January said their companies will invest in information technology (IT) initiatives in the next 12 months.
Information security topped the list of projects executives expect their firms to invest in, with 57 percent of the response. Thirty-six percent of respondents cited virtualization as an area they plan to invest in, thanks to added budget pressures forcing them to focus on more cost-effective solutions for servers, storage and networking. Virtualization tools enable greater consolidation, lower hardware costs, and reduced space and power requirements. Four in 10 CIOs at large companies (1,000+ employees), and 38 percent of CIOs at midsize companies (500 to 999 employees) plan to invest in this area.

Improving efficiency within the data centre to achieve longer-term cost savings also emerged as a top priority for organizations pressured to cut back on IT spending, with 33 percent of respondents saying they plan to invest in data centre efficiency.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) (32 percent) and business intelligence (28 percent) rounded out the top five areas companies plan to invest in this year. According to the survey results, companies plan to invest in business intelligence software that allows them to squeeze greater cost efficiencies from their existing resources and processes, and to identify and mitigate business risk.

The CIOs also cited outsourcing (26 percent), Software as a Service (SaaS) (23 percent), Web 2.0 (18 percent), social networking technology (18 percent) and green IT (16 percent) as areas they plan to invest in.

"Despite increased budgetary pressures, many companies recognize that investing in IT initiatives leads to improved security, efficiencies and revenues," said Sandra Lavoy, a vice-president with Robert Half Technology, the company that developed the survey. "Enhancing IT infrastructure will help organizations better prepare for growth when the economy rebounds."

The national survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a provider of information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. The survey is based on more than 270 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of Canadian companies with 100 or more employees.

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