IT Decision Makers Top 2010 Priority: Managing Costs

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print


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IT decision makers are generally more optimistic about the prospects for 2010, but not so much so that they are ready to open their wallets or write any blank checks. Their top priority for 2010 focuses on managing costs -- ahead of improving customer service -- according to a new survey by CDW.

IT organizations say they are more optimistic about their prospects for 2010, but when it comes to spending money, the refrain might as well be: "You first."

Managing costs ranked as the top focus of IT organizations in 2010, ahead of improving customer service, according to the third annual Year-In-Review survey from CDW.

About half of IT decision makers named containing costs as their top business priority, ahead of improving customer satisfaction at 42 percent and increasing market share at 37 percent.

However, 65 percent of IT decision makers said they expect their organizations to perform somewhat better in achieving their missions and goals in 2010. Still, that represents a 7 percent decline from 2009 confidence levels. CDW says that difference shows a reluctance to be overly optimistic in the wake of this past year’s financial crisis.

"With a financial recovery beginning to take shape, organizations are focusing on how to best position themselves for strong and steady success in the new year," says Mark Gambill, a CDW vice president responsible for the survey, in a statement. He warns against being short-sighted when it comes to investing for the recovery.

"Refocusing business priorities to improve customer satisfaction will be paramount to creating long-term success as the economy improves," says Gambill. "Every IT investment and business activity will need to center on the benefit it provides to the customer, which will in turn allow them to focus on what matters most—growing their businesses."

The survey revealed that in terms of 2010 IT investments, just 21 percent of organizations are planning discretionary IT projects. But that number may be enough to signal that those projects that were put on hold in 2009 could be getting approved for 2010.

And the new year may also bring a greater alignment between business and IT priorities, according to CDW, with 49 percent of IT decision makers seeing the reduction of operating costs and increase in organizational productivity as top ways for IT to help their organizations during the recovery.

Here’s how IT decision makers ranked their top priorities for 2010:

  • Information security    44%
  • Energy efficient/ "green" IT    29%
  • Mobility/mobile devices    29%
  • Virtualization    25%
  • Remote conferencing    21%
  • Social media applications    14%
  • Cloud computing    14%
  • Web 2.0    12%

CDW's survey was conducted with 1,043 IT decision makers in September.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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