IT budgets down in 60pc of Irish firms – report

15 Jun 2011

As many as six out of 10 Irish businesses say they are having to work with reduced IT budgets yet maintain the same level of technology services, according to a new survey by Digital Planet.

Although a greater reliance on technology puts the business more at risk if systems fail, the report found that almost half of respondents (49pc) have no plans to use cloud computing, which Digital Planet defines as another form of outsourcing.

The report says Irish organisations, on the whole, are receptive to the idea of outsourcing, with 72pc of respondents saying they outsource some IT function to a third party. Some of the reasons cited for outsourcing include releasing IT staff for more strategic work (24pc), allowing the organisation to focus on its core business (21pc) and the ability to access broader IT skills via a partner (14pc). Cost saving was only listed as the fourth-highest consideration.

What’s being outsourced?

However, despite the wide range of services being outsourced, the report claims organisations tend to focus on specialist service provision areas. More than three-quarters of respondents (76pc) use a third party for infrastructure support, while 41pc have their systems monitored by an external provider. Outsourced network management and service desk were used equally by 40pc each, while almost a quarter (22pc) outsource their data backup.

According to the survey, just 9pc are using cloud services and 1pc outsource their full infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) to a cloud provider.

The Digital Planet report claims that moving to the cloud can cut costs by up to 35pc, as well as releasing resources and time to focus on core business. “IaaS allows Irish companies to reduce the headaches, resourcing and cost of maintaining in-house servers, networks, storage and applications,” said Brian Larkin, operations director with Digital Planet, which is a subsidiary of the IT provider HiberniaEvros Technology Group.

Cloud’s main advantage is its flexibility, Larkin added. “If new or enhanced services are required, then the appropriate resources can be ‘switched on’ to deliver these quicker than would be possible under traditional delivery models where hardware and software needs to be procured and then deployed. Resources can also be switched off as required.”

The full white paper can be downloaded from Digital Planet’s website.

Photo: Brian Larkin, operations director with Digital Planet

Gordon Smith was a contributor to Silicon Republic