Trends 7 and 8By Guy Currier | Posted 2010-12-09 Print
Security is big, hyped technologies get gut checks, and promising ones roll full-steam ahead. Our third annual market survey of the technology trends shows what managers and executives see for the year ahead.
7 IT Angles Toward Profit Growth
We’ve been tracking IT’s alignment with business and business goals since our first issue nearly 10 years ago. To add to our pleasure in the renewal of interest in security, we are also happy to see IT, and certain applications in particular, in strong demand in 2011. (See chart 7)
Forty-one percent of the organizations in our survey are looking forward to increased use of technology or IT processes specifically to increase their organizations’ revenue; 45 percent say they expect increased engagement in business-process improvement in the coming year. BPI, in fact, is far and away the most-often supported technology by finance (31 percent) and corporate executives (35 percent), and it’s nearly as much in demand from end-users (26 percent).
Bottom-line applications such as CRM and ERP—though a bit less popular than BPI—are favorite investments in most companies where they are being used next year.
Chartis, a New York-based insurance company, has invested in IT solutions to increase profit and growth for more than a decade. Recently, it launched its OneClaim system with technology from Pegasystems to manage the claim life cycle from the initial customer call through adjudication and payout. “We can standardize and automate claims processing no matter what the regulatory jurisdiction,” says Alla Krasnopolsky, a manager of informational systems for Chartis. “Regardless of how small or how large the project is, we try to incorporate these technologies.”
8 Hardware Investment—and Consolidation—Continue
Moving slightly up the charts—last year it was at #9—is the ongoing hardware refresh, spurred by aging systems, reduced inventories and the release of Windows 7. We expect this trend to continue into a second year, possibly even stronger than the numbers here indicate.
For one thing, hardware infrastructure was the area cited by our survey respondents as being least likely to experience reduced investment at their organization, even with the continued business emphasis on reduced capital investment.
Another thing is simply the continuing extent to which firms expect significant investment in hardware next year. (See chart 8) Forty-three percent of organizations said so, and most of them expect that investment to be bigger than 2010’s by a wide margin. Storage systems (not shown) look similarly strong in 2011.
If these figures don’t quite impress, consider this: Thirty-seven percent of the organizations we surveyed are going to increase their hardware consolidation efforts as well, something you’d normally expect to be a drag on new equipment deployments.
“It’s a good thing to do as leases run out and you get the chance to consolidate while replacing the old with the new,” says Stephen Pickett, CIO at Penske in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Passing the disaster recovery test is an important part of the process because you don’t want to have a service manager in California who has work to do but can’t do it because the server isn’t working.”
We figure that hardware is going to get outsized attention for some time.
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