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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.