IT managers' budget 'fight back' flares
Research that reveals the ‘battleground’ state of European IT funding suggests that IT managers will no longer take the flak for problems caused by budget cuts.
Published by Numara Software, ‘The Rebirth of the IT Budget’ is based on 300 interviews with senior IT decision makers in large companies with 250 or more employees in the UK, France and Germany working for organisations using service desk solutions.
The research found that 82 per cent of IT managers in UK, French, and German organisations say that IT funding ‘has been affected in some way’ over the past two years, and this was notably more so in the UK. Fifty-two per cent claimed that the financial value of the IT budget has been affected, where it has been frozen at previous levels (18 per cent), or more commonly, the total amount of money made available has been reduced (34 per cent).
The majority of respondents in companies where IT funding has been affected, however, expect investment to improve in 2010/2011. Sixty per cent think that this improvement will happen in Q3/Q4 2010, while 29 per cent think it will occur in 2011.
Impact on IT funding 2008-2010
|IT budget values have been affected in some way||65%||46%||47%|
|IT budgets have been reduced||42%||28%||33%|
|New IT projects have been affected||55%||32%||33%|
|More senior people are involved in sign-off||35%||19%||21%|
Across Europe, the UK has suffered more than France and Germany, the research suggests. More Brits say IT budget values have been affected in some way (65 per cent), compared to France (46 per cent), and Germany (47 per cent). More IT managers in the UK say IT budgets have been reduced (42 per cent) compared to Germany (33 per cent) and France (28 per cent), and they say that new IT projects have been affected (55 per cent) compared to Germany (33 per cent) and France (32 per cent).
The consequences of this financial stringency on IT departments are already damaging, with IT infrastructures becoming ‘overburdened and unable to respond effectively to business needs’. Senior IT professionals feel it is their ‘job to fight back’: 33 per cent claim that they will ‘keep chasing the board for IT investment’. This may be driven by the fact that 23 per cent reckon that if things go wrong due to lack of investment, it will be the beleaguered IT department who ‘picks up the blame, and has to deal with the consequences’.
The most common key pressure for those surveyed is being able to resolve users’ technical problems quickly enough (69 per cent / 71 per cent in the UK). Twenty-six per cent now say that tracking mobile data outside the company perimeter is ‘difficult’.
“Recent economic circumstances have also forced many IT departments to save costs by sacrificing the human organisation,” comments Numara managing director EMEA/APAC Andy White. “Post-recession, we won’t have an army of technicians to throw at the problems anymore.”