Irish firms missing business benefits from IT – Citrix

5 Jul 2006

EDINBURGH: A Citrix survey of 100 medium to large Irish companies shows that price and infrastructure are influencing decision-makers on IT investment rather than long-term business benefits.

Nine out of 10 Irish companies spend more of their IT budget on non-revenue-generating activities, maintaining and managing IT infrastructure, rather than using the investment to help grow the business.

The survey results were announced at the Citrix iForum event in Edinburgh, where the US management team is taking customers through its vision of IT environments based around access infrastructure and centralised IT management.

Seven out of 10 Irish companies have already centralised their IT management, according to the survey. “It’s encouraging that they are future-proofing their IT through the centralisation of IT management and control, and also implementing web-based services,” said UK and Ireland managing director Richard Jackson.

The survey also revealed that just over half of the Irish companies interviewed believed that new IT applications are inherently secure, while nine out of 10 thought it was productive to provide mobile workers with secure access to the right applications. Unsurprisingly, email was the most commonly accessed mobile application (94pc), though sales (31pc), financials (31pc) and supply chain (22pc) also featured.

Citrix used the annual event to highlight product lines that continue to develop and explain how a busy period of acquisition is helping to refine its centralised computing vision, where any place, any device access is the goal. Last year it acquired NetScaler, a specialist in networking acceleration software, used by Google and Amazon; in May its takeover of Reflectent gave Citrix performance-monitoring products, all the time refining its proposition, making ready for what Citrix believes will be the next big thing – software as a service.

As a concept it’s been around for many years, but the time is now right, according to Citrix president and CEO Mark Templeton. “The things that are pushing it are getting stronger,” he told “Enough things are different today from when it was first talked about it. There is more trust and the connectivity is better. A few years ago some customers didn’t like our products because they had to be connected and their networks weren’t that good. That’s changed.”

In his keynote speech he told customers that they need look no further than the internet for their inspiration. “The consumer web is what the future of enterprise IT is about,” he said. Brett Caine, general manager of Citrix Online, talked about how it was important that web-based software delivery was as simple as consumer applications made famous by the likes of Amazon and Google.

Templeton said the move to software as a service was the latest stage in IT evolution. “About 25 years ago there was mainframe computing before the PC came and drove enormous change. We’ll see the same again with software as a service, but it will be faster and more destructive,” he said.

Earlier he had outlined how the traditional cycle of IT investment, built around refresh and maintenance, was out of sync with business objectives. “We need to de-couple infrastructure from the way we are able to respond to the business cycle,” he said. “We have to move to a delivery mindset as opposed to a deployment mindset.”

By Ian Campbell