Over 40% of Irish companies expect to increase ICT spend in next 12 months
Over 40% of Irish companies plan to increase ICT spend over the next 12 months, with more than one third (36%) of IT managers saying the main driver is to create business or competitive advantage. That’s according to new research from ComputerScope carried out in association with O2.
"The survey suggests that IT budgets are being unshackled and that IT is becoming more strategically important to Irish businesses," said Alan Brown, business director, O2. "While controlling costs and ‘keeping the lights on’ were major factors during the downturn, this study indicates that the momentum is now moving towards companies using IT to boost competitive advantage and customer service as well as facilitating an increasingly mobile workforce."
The survey of 267 Irish IT managers conducted during July and August showed that gaining competitive advantage is cited as the main driver of IT spend, cost reduction (21%) is in second place followed by "keeping the lights on" (17%) and facilitating an increasingly mobile workforce (16%).
ComputerScope editor Paul Hearns said: "The outlook appears to have improved for IT with just over one in five companies (22%) saying that they expect to reduce their budgets over the next 12 months compared to almost double that (41%) who plan to increase spend."
O2’s Alan Brown said that while reducing cost remained an important justification for IT expenditure, a significant 72% of respondents said that failure to invest in IT increased the cost of managing ageing infrastructures. 65% were concerned that lack of investment in IT would result in less efficient delivery of customer service.
The main barrier to implementing the latest technology is pressure on capital expenditure budgets according to 68% of respondents. "It is significant that almost half (45%) have already implemented or are considering alternative models such as hosted unified communications or hosted PBX in order to access new technology without having to implement capital expenditure," he said. "This is also reflected in the fact that 65% have already or are considering increasing the use of cloud based software services over the next 12 months."
While 92% of the IT managers surveyed said they already have the infrastructure in place to allow remote working by employees, 73% cite security as the main barrier to the increased roll out of mobile working. 67% say that company culture is a barrier to greater implementation of mobile working.
Despite this, a quarter of companies said that over the next 12 months 21-30% of their staff would be working at least part of the time remotely: at home, on the road, or out of the office.
The full results of the survey are below.