How to get IT spend moving again – Gartner

12 Apr 2010

Although the recession hit IT budgets in Ireland, many organisations have maintained their level of spending on technology, according to the industry research firm Gartner.

Irish organisations typically spend 2.5-5 pc of their revenues on ICT and while many reduced spending on technology over the past two years, some areas have remained buoyant.

“Certain industry sectors and in Government, particularly in the area of transformation, are looking to increase spending in areas of IT,” said Gartner analyst Myles Lynch in a webinar.

The briefing was aimed at IT vendors looking for advice on selling to Irish organisations in the current economic climate. “What vendors typically face is that budgets are frozen or the sales cycle gets ridiculously prolonged,” said Mick MacComascaigh, research director with Gartner Research. Consulting deals in the €500,000 to €1m price range have also tended to be broken down into smaller projects that cost less, he added.

How to sell to heads of IT in Ireland

Gartner warned that some marketing messages which were created by multinational technology firms don’t resonate locally. According to Lynch, the right approach for selling to heads of IT in Ireland is to “keep the message simple but focused on commercial value. Think about the value you can bring to their business.”

He added that many Irish CEOs are now more aware of how technology can help their business, especially in reducing costs. However, for CIOs to make the case for investment, they must speak the language of business and not technology.“ The CIO must demonstrate value, not in the context of the speed of a chip or the capacity of storage, but how to deliver improvements in business processes,” Lynch added. “If vendors want an audience with the CIO or CEO, you’ve got to start talking about the business.”

According to Lynch, organisations that are considered mature in technology terms are actively considering technologies like virtualisation and Web 2.0. Many Irish organisations are not yet at that level. “They are still focusing on business intelligence, service-oriented architecture and how to leverage ERP in terms of delivering business efficiency,” he said.

By Gordon Smith

Photo: Irish organisations typically spend 2.5-5 pc of their revenues on ICT