Forty-one per cent of Irish companies plan to raise their spending on ICT over the next year, with 36pc of IT managers citing business or competitive advantage as the top reason for this expenditure, new research suggests.
The research is to be published this week by industry journal ComputerScope, 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 at 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.”
Paul Hearns, editor of ComputerScope, said the outlook appears to have improved for IT, with 22pc of companies saying they expect to reduce their budgets over the next 12 months compared to 41pc who plan to increase spend.
The survey of 267 Irish IT managers conducted during July and August also showed that the main drivers of IT spend were cost reduction for 21pc of respondents, “keeping the lights on” for 17pc of IT managers, and facilitating an increasingly mobile workforce for 16pc of respondents.
Brown pointed out that while reducing cost remained an important justification for IT expenditure, 72pc of respondents said failure to invest in IT increased the cost of managing ageing infrastructures. Sixty-five per cent were concerned that lack of investment in IT would result in less efficient delivery of customer service.