The hottest technologiesBy Allan E. Alter Print
Our exclusive research finds that alignment is the top priority for IT management in the coming year and the most challenging task well into the next decade.
Considering that business analytics and intelligence are among the hottest technologies in the market—because of the insight into operations and profit-bearing opportunities they provide for enterprises—improving the quality of data and being able to quickly make critical business decisions is paramount. Many of the survey respondents cited new competition as a driving force behind technology adoption, because enterprises with the best analytics will have a competitive advantage.
Reducing IT costs is the second-highest IT management priority for companies with more than $500 million in revenues. The economy continues to slow under the weight of rising energy prices and the fallout of the secondary mortgage crisis. These trends result in tighter credit and spending, which causes many enterprises—large ones, especially—to reduce IT budgets, among other discretionary spending cuts. Virtualization, energy-efficient servers, outsourced services and offshore development are opening opportunities for cost savings, thereby attracting investment by many enterprises.
A correlation of this year's top IT priorities with trends that IT managers expect to emerge during the next five years produces undeniable patterns. IT managers who expect a recession are less likely to cite improving project management and IT planning as a priority—most likely because they will have fewer projects to manage and less growth to plan for. These managers are more likely to place reducing IT costs and improving ROI on their list of top three management priorities.
On the other hand, those who see growth ahead for their IT organizations make cost cutting a lower priority, placing higher priority on improving systems development capabilities and security. Systems development skills also rise among IT managers and executives who expect that new business ideas will affect their organizations' priorities; new ideas often take shape in the real world as systems.
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