A recent survey of 100 CIOs by Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. revealed users who expect a gradual rather than quick improvement in spending in the months ahead and who say price is the most important factor in vendor selection.

The results of the survey showed that two-thirds of the CIOs are investing in Web services; one-third use enterprise application integration software; two-thirds have application servers; and users are split between Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) and .Net for their Web foundation. The survey found that 26 per cent like J2EE, while 22 per cent favour .Net. A full 30 per cent use neither, seven per cent use both, and 15 per cent weren’t sure.

Almost two-thirds of the CIOs surveyed by New York-based Merrill Lynch think software will be delivered as a service, but said it may take another three to five years for that to occur.

Also, although most users are happy with their enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) installations, significant numbers said they haven’t gotten a satisfactory return on investment.

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