A study commissioned by Microsoft and carried out by Harris Interactive on how the recession is affecting the way IT professionals invest in their businesses' infrastructure finds that, while the economy has forced substantial cost-cutting, investment in areas such as virtualization and cloud computing will increase.
A new Microsoft
study by Harris Interactive into the recession's effects on IT spending
suggests that while the majority of IT professionals have given belt-tightening
their highest priority, many also plan to increase their investments in
virtualization, cloud computing and other tools to drive business efficiency.
Of the four countries surveyed-the United
Japan and the United
Kingdom-the recession had forced a
relatively small portion of the typical U.S. IT budget to be set aside for
innovations as opposed to maintaining current system. In the United
States, about 29 percent of IT professionals
planned to spend their budget on innovation, versus 41 percent for Japan
and the United Kingdom
and 35 percent in Germany.
IT management has been focused on keeping the lights on, the study suggests,
with only 22 percent of those surveyed saying "giving the business a
competitive edge" was the "current top priority."
The study was conducted between April 9 and May 5 and surveyed 1,200
"IT decision makers at enterprise and SMB [small and midsize business]
Forty-eight percent of those IT professionals seemed devoted to saving their
cash through improving business efficiency, and two-thirds planned to invest
further in virtualization, cloud computing or other tools designed to make
infrastructure for both the enterprise and SMBs more efficient. By contrast,
only 30 percent of respondents suggested they were narrowly focused on reducing
Gartner recommends seven ways to cut data center costs; click here to see more.
For the future, security remains of top importance to those surveyed. About
73 percent of respondents said protecting customer and company data was their
top security priority, followed by using security tools to advance overall
business goals (52 percent) and increasing end-user productivity (51 percent).
Green IT also got something of a short shrift from those surveyed, with only
44 percent saying green technology was a factor in their final decisions
concerning data centers.
Despite the current state of the economy, though, Microsoft executives see
many companies preparing themselves on the IT side for the anticipated upswing.
"What we're seeing is those companies who invest today and focus their
investments on efficiency are setting themselves up for a faster return to
growth." Bob Kelly, Microsoft's corporate vice president of infrastructure
server marketing, said in a June 23 conference call. "We are seeing many,
many IT pros who are seeing this as an opportunity to invest for their