IT spending to rise globally but local companies still cautious

A global survey of chief information officers reveals 76% expect to increase IT spending over the next 12 months, although separate research shows Australian CIOs are taking a more cautious approach to technology investment.


Financial news site Bloomberg recently surveyed 100 CIOs and technology decision-makers at the Bloomberg LINK Enterprise Technology Summit.


According to the survey, 76% expect to increase IT spending over the next 12 months, while only 17% say they will decrease spending and 7% say spending will remain the same.


Bloomberg chief technology officer Shawn Edwards says technology executives are under enormous pressure to innovate and solve problems, hence the increase in spending over the year ahead.


But according to another survey by technology giant IBM, Australian CIOs are taking a more cautious approach to technology spending than their global counterparts.


IBM recently surveyed more than 3,000 CIOS from around the world, including more than 180 in Australia and New Zealand.


While 23% of global CIOs believe their role is to transform how their organisation operates through the use of technology, only 17% of those in Australia and New Zealand feel the same.


Meanwhile, 22% of senior technology executives within local organisations are focused primarily on defensive strategies to “streamline operations and increase organisational effectiveness”, compared to just 14% globally.


IBM Global Business partner Matt English says the results demonstrate the two-speed nature of Australia’s economy, stating: “There is more caution and therefore more of a leverage focus.”


According to the Global Information Technology Report 2010-2011, compiled by the World Economic Forum and international business school INSEAD, Australia lags behind when it comes to technology.


The report reveals that Australia is currently sitting behind 21 other countries with regard to the availability of new technologies, and is also sitting behind much of Europe and North America with regard to the availability of digital content.


However, social networking and collaboration tools appear to be of more importance locally, with 68% of IBM’s survey respondents in Australia and New Zealand viewing them as a strategic investment for their organisation, compared with 55% globally.


The survey also found increasing acceptance of cloud computing, whereby technology resources are accessed via the internet and can be scaled up or down according to business needs.


According to the survey, 60% of CIOs in Australia and New Zealand indicated they will implement cloud computing during the next five years, compared to 39% two years ago.


The growing recognition of cloud computing is also evident in the Bloomberg survey. When asked what areas of infrastructure investment have yielded the most return on investment in the last year, 45% indentified cloud computing.


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