Two-thirds of tech pros say IT budgets have been cut

17 Sep 2009

Despite the recession, a small number of Irish CEOs and CFOs are failing to make use of technology to achieve cost savings and some 62pc of IT professionals have had to contend with their IT budgets being cut.

More than three-quarters (76pc) of IT pros say their companies are looking to IT to help save money in the current economic climate.

However, while the vast majority believe technology can save their business money, 62pc of those surveyed say their IT budget has been cut and 12pc of IT professionals surveyed believe CFOs and CEOs still don’t understand overall cost savings and increased efficiency to be gained through the implementation and leveraging of their existing IT solutions.

This is according to a survey carried out by Microsoft Ireland to 356 of its IT Professional members.

“Running an IT infrastructure is a challenging task at the best of times,” Aidan Finn, Systems and Infrastructure manager at C Infinity and Microsoft MVP (Virtual Machine: Systems Administration), said.

“Keeping up with support tasks, engineering in response to business changes or customer requirements is complex and time consuming. Given the economic challenges we face, IT is often the first aspect of the business to face a budget cut because it’s usually a non-revenue generating cost centre.

The survey, carried out through Microsoft’s TechNet Network, suggests that overall key focus is being placed on innovative technology which will increase productivity, reduce costs in the long term and achieving greater sustainability and control over business expenditure.

More than one-third, (39pc) of Irish SMEs are investing in virtualisation, while 14pc are focusing their expenditure on business intelligence and 10pc are focusing on unified communications solutions to help streamline business efficiencies, as well as help in recovery and growth through the current economic downturn.

Worryingly though, security solutions appear not to be of great concern to business, with only 6.5pc of those surveyed planning it as a key focus. While open source technology does not feature as a viable solution for the vast majority, with only 4.2pc looking to focus on open source solutions in the coming year.

“This suggests that businesses are becoming more selective, more focused on the solutions they plan to implement, and understand that by investing now they will reap long-term measurable savings,” said Enda Flynn, Microsoft Ireland.

“This will enable them to grow through the current economic difficulties and compete more effectively in national and international marketplaces.

“Companies are looking for specific business solutions such as virtualisation and business intelligence tools to help reduce costs and increase productivity.

“While IT budgets decrease, IT Pros are suggesting to their CEOs and CFO that investment in unified communications or collaboration tools, such as Sharepoint, can increase or streamline business efficiencies and significantly reduce overall costs – enabling them to compete and grow in a sustainable way,” added Flynn.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Most IT pros say their companies are looking to IT to help save money in the current economic climate, a Microsoft Ireland survey suggests.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years