Australian enterprise spending plans surveyed

Tech investment plans at Australia’s largest organizations came under the microscope last week with the release of a survey on enterprise spending plans for the next 12 months.

Senior IT executives from 1113 organizations participated in the survey which found most organizations prefer to stick with the ‘usual suspects’ when it comes to purchasing.

The IDG Communications 2004 Intention to Purchase IT Brand survey provides details on more than 200 brands in 48 product categories across a range of industry sectors including construction, utilities, education, finance and insurance, government, health, manufacturing and retail.

Companies ranged in size from 20 to more than 2500 employees and six major groups were analyzed including applications, equipment, networking, database, operating systems and development tools, which were then broken into sub-groups.

Not surprisingly, it was the most familiar brands that topped IT shopping lists with Microsoft Corp. dominating five out of 15 application categories, HP/Compaq winning seven out of 15 for equipment and Cisco Systems Inc. topping the list in five out of eight networking categories.

While Microsoft was the front-runner in many application categories the results were a little different when broken down by industry.

For example, Lotus Notes and Documentum proved popular among the manufacturing, resources and transport and distribution sectors.

Meta Group research director Kevin McIsaac said there are vendor favorites in different industries for several reasons.

“Sometimes a sector is better served by a particular vendor, I know that JD Edwards used to have strengths in certain verticals,” McIsaac said.

McIsaac said he wasn’t surprised that Microsoft led the applications field and that Cisco was the “800 pound gorilla” of networking. But he was surprised by HP’s dominance in the equipment space.

“The fact that HP came at the top of the equipment category is mildly but positively surprising,” McIsaac said.

“I guess what it comes down to is that HP has a pretty broad range of products, and increasingly vendors are trying to be more broad. But there will always be some niche players,” he said.

One survey respondent was Grace Removals IT manager Howard Malyon who said Microsoft certainly wasn’t at the top of his list. Malyon said his principal supplier this year will be IBM.

“I prefer to stick to the same vendor because if you stay with the same equipment then you know who you’re dealing with all the time,” he said. Insurance provider Fortron Group IT manager Matthew Gargett said he also plans to go with the tried and tested when making purchasing decisions this year.

“Dell is the vendor on our shopping list for the next 12 months; if I’m happy with a vendor I will usually stick with them,” Gargett said.