Improving the integration capabilities and effectiveness of legacy IT systems will be the focus of enterprise investment strategies this year, says recent survey.
Conducted by Saugatuck Technology – an IT consulting firm based in Westport, Conn. – the survey polled CIOs and other senior IT executives on their top IT spending priorities for 2007.
It revealed investments in at least eight of the top 10 priority areas will enhance the integration and availability of data and applications.
Better integration, in turn, will allow enterprises to harness existing IT resources, thereby improving business and IT operations.
Heading the spending priorities list is “business intelligence” – up from number three last year.
The list also included “new custom applications”, and “security software and services.”
While it may not be obvious, these two items also contribute to integration, efficiency and effectiveness, according to the Saugatuck Technology report.
For instance, the report said custom applications play a vital role within a services-oriented architecture (SOA) – which can drive modest but important but upgrades to ageing IT infrastructure.
Security software and services need to work within and across multiple data types, applications and systems – thus requiring and fostering integration. The remaining seven spending areas in Top 10 list are:
• ERP software upgrades
• Data warehousing
• Portal/collaboration software
• Network upgrades
• Application integration
• Database software/upgrades, and
• Business process management
The overall theme of integration, efficiency and effectiveness dictated by the top ten areas also suggest a continued user investment focus on project-based IT, the report says.
This implies continued prudent IT spending, and in turn, a tough sales environment for IT vendors, who need to improve margins despite smaller opportunities.
While project-based IT will be an investment focus this year, the report also notes that executives will see the need for – and invest in – bringing IT components together and managing them more effectively.
Such “tactically strategic” investments will allow for immediate improvements while reducing barriers to future business growth and change.
While the top ten IT spending priorities are primarily project based, most represent significant investments in their own right. According to the report, we may see the start of a gradual shift back towards larger and “big bang” IT investment strategies.